Growing up in the Rocky Mountains, I did not know or appreciated the chaparral. But Monday, I learned all about it.
We chose an easy 4 plus mile hike in the King's Canyon/Sequoia National Park area. I could have been happy with the drive alone. Nearing the park we drove through the chaparral. The rolling hills covered with new spring grass and oak trees begged for a horse back ride. Some areas were carpeted so thick with wildflowers they changed colors.
Elisabeth, Mark and Cami joined Mom, Ivy and our family for our adventure. Excitement and discovery sped the children on and they made the entire 8 mile round trip. We don't hike in the traditional way, however. We stop to discover whenever the mood hits us. Following this method, we discovered a group of happily mating red and orange salamanders. They mated in a large pile, then swam off with their little tails to rest. Two brightly colored brave souls were left to guard the large clusters of eggs produced. We thrilled at continuation of the circle of life.
Our hike was not without some mishap. The carpet of acorns caused us to slip and slide. Ivy and I had to sandwich Mom to keep her on the trail. Twenty feet onto the trail, Little Mother fell down a large boulder, scraped the skin off her scalp and gave herself a small concussion. Sunshine slid down a hillside and managed to jam a stick 1 1/2 inches down her ear canal.
Little Mother had missed her mom so much she needed a little extra time and attention.
At Ladybug Falls, the rocks were covered with.... Ladybugs. They flew on our hands, feet, and packs. At the top of the trail, Briz could not resist a dip in the run off water. Then he couldn't resist sharing the experience with Little Mother and I.
We all bonded. I grew to adore my little niece Cami, and enjoyed my sister and Mother as usual.