I love wildflowers! I love how for a couple months out of the year, hillsides are shades of green sprinkled with yellow and violet instead of the normal golden brown that we Southern Californians are so used to. New life is everywhere and I do my best to soak it all in. Whether its yellow mustard, California poppies, larkspur, or heart-leaved keckiella, there is something special about each and every flower. I couldn't help but notice we were in peak season so we decided to take a hike and enjoy all the color nature had to offer.
Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, located in Foothill Ranch, CA, is still recovering from the Santiago Fire of October, 2007 but amidst the blackened bark of oaks and sycamores is a world of green. The land is recovering wonderfully and now is the time to visit. We began our hike on the Borrego Trail which begins in a shopping center but quickly transports you into another world. The trail is shared by hikers, horses, and mountain bikers and is quite popular on the weekend. It is wide enough for a jogging stroller which comes in handy when the little ones need a break. It is not, however, even terrain and does require some careful maneuvering. Non-jogging strollers are not advised. After recent rains, there are some small streams that hikers must cross but they are nothing big enough to warrant any concern. The trail is 1.3 miles long and then splits off into a variety of other trails such as the Red Rock Trail (which we wanted to take but somehow missed. It is very clearly marked. I swear we are blind. We saw it on our way back. It will be another hike for another time), the Mustard Trail, and the Billy Goat Trail. The 2.6 mile round trip is perfect for families with little ones and full of wonderful scenery.
I encourage you to go out and look for signs of spring in your area. Enjoy all that color and new life and appreciate the little gifts God gives us.