The OC – We’ve Got More Than Just Beaches

I have been amazingly busy lately.  I feel like I've got so many things to share with you.  Unfortunately the "amazingly busy" part translates into not a lot of writing time.  I'm assuming with Thanksgiving approaching this week, many of you are also busy with cooking and family time.

I've shared a lot of beach pictures with you here on 24 (since I spend a lot of time at the beach).  I've also shared a lot of stories about the insanity of Money Town and all the plastic, affluent, people who live there.  Today I thought I'd show you a side of Orange County that many people don't realize exists.

Wilderness.

Last weekend I desperately needed a break from my "To-Do List" (which is running about four hundred and fifty pages long right now).  I decided to go for a hike in our canyon.  There's a path right behind our house that leads down into the wilderness.

It was a beautiful day.  We actually had clouds … clouds in the sky are not as common here as you might think.  I couldn't get over the clouds!

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The path into the canyon begins as if it's intending to take you somewhere.

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Then, after awhile, it just sort of exists.  In fact, it splits into a myriad of trails heading up, down, and sideways throughout the canyon.  We picked one randomly.

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This trail went past a little pond.  My kids used to spend time at the pond catching pollywogs and frogs.  Now they're too big for such pursuits.  (Sniff, sniff!)

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A mountain lion was spotted in our canyon, fairly close to our house, recently.  It's not an unusual occurrence here.  In fact, it happens all the time.  At one point I kept hearing something near us in the bushes.

"Go away scary thing!" I yelled at the brush.

"It's probably a squirrel," smirked Briefcase.

I want my readers to know it was a Big Scary Something and not a squirrel.  Squirrels do not make loud noises in the brush and they don't walk along with you while hidden in the brush.  (Deer would run away a Big Scary Something would not!)

Of course, the dogs (and my yelling?) eventually scared it away.  The only wildlife I actually saw during our hike was a hummingbird.

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We get a lot of hummingbirds here. (Yes, even in November.)

The prickly pear cacti are bearing fruit right now.

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Have you ever eaten a prickly pear?  I have.  I wonder who the first person was who realized they're edible under all those cacti thorns?

Someone might have gotten hot and decided to play in mud puddles.

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One trail leads to another trail.  We went down, we went up, we went all over the place.  Is it possible to get lost just a few miles behind your own house?  I think it is.

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Clouds!  Really, very impressive clouds!

Things are pretty dry right now.  We need rain.  We need all the brown to turn to green.

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From the bottom of the canyon I realized the hike back UP and out of the canyon would be a lot more work than the hike down.

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I've mentioned the lake behind my house several times in my writing.  We hiked right past it on our way home.  I usually look down at it from my backyard.  It was our last stop before we hiked out of the canyon.  

The hike out?  It felt like we were climbing straight up.  In fact, I think we were!

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© Twenty Four At Heart

87 Responses to “The OC – We’ve Got More Than Just Beaches”

  1. Deidre

    That picture of the hummingbird is spectacular, young lady!
    Also I think it’s totally valid to yell into the bushes. Just Sayin’

  2. Deidre

    That picture of the hummingbird is spectacular, young lady!
    Also I think it’s totally valid to yell into the bushes. Just Sayin’

  3. Deidre

    That picture of the hummingbird is spectacular, young lady!
    Also I think it’s totally valid to yell into the bushes. Just Sayin’

  4. Chris

    Gorgeous photos. You’re fortunate to have such a clean and beautiful place to hike right behind your home. We have lovely mountains and trails here in Utah, but trees are dormant and there’s snow on the mountains. Winter just arrived, but your photos make me miss summer! Glad you had a nice hike. You’ll have to get out there more throughout the holidays. Acts as a Prozac for me!

  5. Chris

    Gorgeous photos. You’re fortunate to have such a clean and beautiful place to hike right behind your home. We have lovely mountains and trails here in Utah, but trees are dormant and there’s snow on the mountains. Winter just arrived, but your photos make me miss summer! Glad you had a nice hike. You’ll have to get out there more throughout the holidays. Acts as a Prozac for me!

  6. Chris

    Gorgeous photos. You’re fortunate to have such a clean and beautiful place to hike right behind your home. We have lovely mountains and trails here in Utah, but trees are dormant and there’s snow on the mountains. Winter just arrived, but your photos make me miss summer! Glad you had a nice hike. You’ll have to get out there more throughout the holidays. Acts as a Prozac for me!

  7. Jan

    I got your back, girl – I know that you know a Big Scary Thing when you hear one.
    Lovely, lovely pics! I’m so glad you’re getting out and about with your camera. And you’re GOOD.

  8. Jan

    I got your back, girl – I know that you know a Big Scary Thing when you hear one.
    Lovely, lovely pics! I’m so glad you’re getting out and about with your camera. And you’re GOOD.

  9. Jan

    I got your back, girl – I know that you know a Big Scary Thing when you hear one.
    Lovely, lovely pics! I’m so glad you’re getting out and about with your camera. And you’re GOOD.

  10. Linda

    Those are some impressive clouds and I’m NOT teasing you. Great, great shots! You live in a beautiful part of the country.

  11. Linda

    Those are some impressive clouds and I’m NOT teasing you. Great, great shots! You live in a beautiful part of the country.

  12. Linda

    Those are some impressive clouds and I’m NOT teasing you. Great, great shots! You live in a beautiful part of the country.

  13. Kristan

    Incredible shots! There’s no doubt — especially after the hummingbird pic – that your camera was totally worth it!

  14. Kristan

    Incredible shots! There’s no doubt — especially after the hummingbird pic – that your camera was totally worth it!

  15. Kristan

    Incredible shots! There’s no doubt — especially after the hummingbird pic – that your camera was totally worth it!

  16. Sandi

    Your photography skills are amazing. Come over and take some pictures of my kids! I had a blast with you yesterday. I can’t wait to see you again.

  17. Sandi

    Your photography skills are amazing. Come over and take some pictures of my kids! I had a blast with you yesterday. I can’t wait to see you again.

  18. Sandi

    Your photography skills are amazing. Come over and take some pictures of my kids! I had a blast with you yesterday. I can’t wait to see you again.

  19. Issa

    Oh sun. warm. Beach. canyons. Sigh, I really miss California. Beautiful pictures. 🙂

  20. Issa

    Oh sun. warm. Beach. canyons. Sigh, I really miss California. Beautiful pictures. 🙂

  21. Issa

    Oh sun. warm. Beach. canyons. Sigh, I really miss California. Beautiful pictures. 🙂

  22. Jack

    I always warn the big scary thing that I am bigger,scarier and will eat it for breakfast. My kids love it when I do that. Wonder if they’ll still like it when they are 14.
    Guess I’ll have to wait and see. 😉

  23. Jack

    I always warn the big scary thing that I am bigger,scarier and will eat it for breakfast. My kids love it when I do that. Wonder if they’ll still like it when they are 14.
    Guess I’ll have to wait and see. 😉

  24. Jack

    I always warn the big scary thing that I am bigger,scarier and will eat it for breakfast. My kids love it when I do that. Wonder if they’ll still like it when they are 14.
    Guess I’ll have to wait and see. 😉

  25. Life with Kaishon

    Oh my goodness. What beautiful pictures. I just love them. They took my breath away… sort of like your breath being taken away after climbing a mountain… : )

  26. Life with Kaishon

    Oh my goodness. What beautiful pictures. I just love them. They took my breath away… sort of like your breath being taken away after climbing a mountain… : )

  27. Life with Kaishon

    Oh my goodness. What beautiful pictures. I just love them. They took my breath away… sort of like your breath being taken away after climbing a mountain… : )

  28. just beth

    Hi there… I just popped over here from Sandi at Lucky Thirteen, and felt compelled to comment. I’m from Glendale (CA), so if you’re in the OC, well, it’s not quite in your neighborhood, but it’s close enough. Your pictures take me back home and I remember the taste of the mornings, laden with eucalyptus and dew, and the perpetual smell of freshly cut grass… so thank you for that. I forget how much I miss it sometimes.
    Oh, and I’ve eaten the prickly cactus. The person who figured out you can eat those must have been pretty dang desperate!
    xo
    b.

  29. just beth

    Hi there… I just popped over here from Sandi at Lucky Thirteen, and felt compelled to comment. I’m from Glendale (CA), so if you’re in the OC, well, it’s not quite in your neighborhood, but it’s close enough. Your pictures take me back home and I remember the taste of the mornings, laden with eucalyptus and dew, and the perpetual smell of freshly cut grass… so thank you for that. I forget how much I miss it sometimes.
    Oh, and I’ve eaten the prickly cactus. The person who figured out you can eat those must have been pretty dang desperate!
    xo
    b.

  30. just beth

    Hi there… I just popped over here from Sandi at Lucky Thirteen, and felt compelled to comment. I’m from Glendale (CA), so if you’re in the OC, well, it’s not quite in your neighborhood, but it’s close enough. Your pictures take me back home and I remember the taste of the mornings, laden with eucalyptus and dew, and the perpetual smell of freshly cut grass… so thank you for that. I forget how much I miss it sometimes.
    Oh, and I’ve eaten the prickly cactus. The person who figured out you can eat those must have been pretty dang desperate!
    xo
    b.

  31. Maria

    Hello,
    I really enjoyed reading your post, great writing style!
    Thank you for sharing those amazing pictures. Orange County is such a great destination, and people too often don’t take the time to really discover it. At Fox Rent A Car Blog we share insights about attractions and off the beaten path sites to not miss, in different cities. Your post is a great illustration of what we try to describe with words!
    thanks again for your post.

  32. Maria

    Hello,
    I really enjoyed reading your post, great writing style!
    Thank you for sharing those amazing pictures. Orange County is such a great destination, and people too often don’t take the time to really discover it. At Fox Rent A Car Blog we share insights about attractions and off the beaten path sites to not miss, in different cities. Your post is a great illustration of what we try to describe with words!
    thanks again for your post.

  33. Maria

    Hello,
    I really enjoyed reading your post, great writing style!
    Thank you for sharing those amazing pictures. Orange County is such a great destination, and people too often don’t take the time to really discover it. At Fox Rent A Car Blog we share insights about attractions and off the beaten path sites to not miss, in different cities. Your post is a great illustration of what we try to describe with words!
    thanks again for your post.

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