This morning we took Mo'i along on our walk. He's 14 – not far behind Lea – but still going strong. He can easily make the 3 mile round trip walk with us...but by the time we get home, he's visibly dragging a bit. It's easy to see how much he enjoys these walks. This morning he was actually pulling me out the front gate, something he rarely does (he's always “lunking” alongside us as we walk, not straining at the leash like Miki or Race).
At left are the seeds of the mountain mahogany (a Cercocarpus, but which one I'm not certain). Most of the year this is a scruffy looking chaparral shrub, notable mainly because the deer love to eat its leaves. But for a few weeks in late spring, its hairy, fuzzy seeds put on a beautiful show, especially when back-lit. This morning, as we looked to the east with the sun just over the horizon, we could see thousands of these mountain mahogany shrubs lit up in the valley below us and on the surrounding hillsides.
At right is the scarlet larkspur (Delphinium cardinale), a chaparral native that is particularly beautiful this year (we presume because of the early rains). I counted 24 plants in bloom along a 1.5 mile stretch of road (they love road cuts and the edges of open, rocky areas), easily double the density I've ever seen before.
It was a very pleasant walk.