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A Hike Along The Ernie Maxwell Trail, Idyllwild, CA

A Hike Along The Ernie Maxwell Trail, Idyllwild, CA
Small Waterfall

Small Waterfall

We are three weeks into 2015. I hope you have had a great start to this year. 2014 ended in difficulty for me, and 2015 shows no relief. I think to myself I’ve got 11 more months to make this a great year.

One of the things I find comforting is to take a walk in the woods. When I hear bird calls, water flowing, and the wind tickling the tops of the pines, every care melts away.

The Ernie Maxwell Trail

The Ernie Maxwell Trail

Yesterday, February 20, 2015 dawned as fabulous spring day in the middle of winter. The temperature was in the mid 60’s with light streaky clouds. I decided to wipe the cares off my shoulders and take a hike. The minute I stepped onto the Ernie Maxwell Trail in Idyllwild, CA, my senses became more refined and I started listening to my animal friends. The first thing I heard was the screech of a hawk high overhead. Then the chime of finches talking to each other took over. A chipmunk scurried across the path to get out of my way. I stopped to listen to the rhythm of the wind dance in the tree tops.

Chipmunk

Chipmunk

Looking closely, I revel in the colors of the forest. The rocks hold beautiful shades of pink, orange, yellow, tans and browns.

Boulder along the Ernie Maxwell Trail

Boulder along the Ernie Maxwell Trail

I feel as if I become part of nature while I am on these hikes rather than a human separate from it. I appreciate the land, water, and sky and say a silent thank you to mother nature for providing all of the elements people need to survive.

The forest that surrounds the Ernie Maxwell Trail

The forest that surrounds the Ernie Maxwell Trail

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The Magic Of The Forest – Idyllwild, California

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A Walk In The Clouds - a thick cloud layer rolls up against the San Jacinto Mountains

Loyal bloggers and faithful followers,

You might remember my post from August 1, 2011, titled My Working Vacation. It describes the wonderfully quirky town of Idyllwild, California. I am again enjoying this place in the mountains for 10 peaceful days. It is rare that I am able to rip myself away from the demands and obligations of city life for such a long stretch of time.

Mother Nature presented three gifts to me yesterday, April 23, 2012, and I will share them with you.

I drove from the ocean, where it was gray and drizzling, to an elevation of 6,500 feet in the San Jacinto mountains. Once I punched through the clouds, the weather was spectacular. Temperatures in the high 70’s, clear, with just a whiff of a stray cloud here and there. I spent the day visiting friends then started back to my cabin in the woods. As I rounded a hairpin turn on Highway 243, a rare vision compelled me to stop and photograph the scene. A cloud bank rolled in below, and stalled as it hit the mountains. It just hovered there, like a white cotton candy carpet. I felt as if I could step off the mountain side and walk on the clouds. A scene to remember.

I teach a landscape and nature workshop in Idyllwild in June. I like to scout out places to take my students. I decided to check out how much water was flowing from my favorite waterfall. The weather was too sunny to get any good shots, but I took my camera anyway. Maybe get some flower photos, I thought. Just as I arrived at the path to the waterfall, Mother Nature smiled on me again. The cloud bank rolled overhead, providing some moody fog and shady weather that is perfect for photographing the waterfall.

Path along the creek to the waterfall

Detail of waterfall

 

Waterfall in Idyllwild

I spent about 2 hours shooting the forest path, creek, and waterfall. I felt I had some nice shots to put on my website for the workshop. Once I packed up and started the hike back to my car, Mother Nature again showed her kindness by blowing away the cloud bank and returning the sunny, warm weather. I spent the evening enjoying the sounds of woodpeckers and squirrels on my deck in the wilderness.

The magic of this mountain never ceases. Each day is a different gift. These are the presents I treasure more than the kind money buys. I don’t even remember what I got for my birthday last year, but I will remember this day forever.

If you would like to photograph Idyllwild with me, consider taking my workshop on June 2 & 3, 2012.

 

 

 

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