August brings the rains!
I went for an evening hike yesterday evening to enjoy being out in a rich and alive midsummer landscape, and to cut out a couple of trees that had fallen across the trails- one at the beginning of the Devil's Canyon Trail, the other a ways up the south part of the Northridge Trail. The choke cherries are enjoying a bumper year, and the golden asters clearly say that summer is slipping by, as they typically kick in past midsummer. Yes, summer is slipping by, and this awareness certainly had much to do with why I was out there. There was a thunder storm brewing as I moved further into the park's undeveloped parts, but the sky's relative brightness and the storm's position that seemed quite a ways south of the park felt like it was OK to be out. As I was finishing up on the 2nd tree (with a bow saw I had strapped to my pack), the thunder's intensity told me that it was time to head back and not continue the trial's full loop. Well, to make a long story short, that storm proved my original projection wrong, because it seemed to track right into the park - with lots of lightning . I was wet and out of breath from some quick travelling when I finally got to a safer place to wait out the storm. It didn't produce a lot of rain (o.18"), but the electricity was prolific. Speaking of rain, the park has received nearly 4 1/2 inches of rain the last 10 days (and only received a bit more than 2" in the previous 2 months), so the monsoons are in full swing.