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Veronique de Turenne

A bit of heartache in Solstice Canyon

First, the good things that happened on our walk in Solstice Canyon this morning, starting with the fact we actually found parking. Then there were the bird sightings, three types of hawks, a flock of chatty parrots, and best of all, a covey of California quail. At least a dozen of the sweet and goofy ground-dwelling birds, all but wiped out in the Woolsey fire two Novembers ago, right there on the trail. The wish to watch overcame the urge to photograph, and it was a few moments of life being wonderful. The quail soon got spooked by some hikers, but even then you could hear the whir of their wings, their retreat through the brush, and their catalog of calls, greetings and warnings and explanations.

And now the hard part. If you're a Solstice regular you may know this oak, a giant where a path splits away from the road. Shade in summer, shelter in rain, so tall your sense of time shifts from seconds to centuries. And now gone. Too many fires, too many drought years, and then last week those crazy winds, which had the final say.

solstice oak

california live oaks

the fire won against the beautiful Solstice Canyon oak

goodbye to the beautiful Solstice Canyon oak

The ancient oak in Solstice Canyon is gone

Next entry: It's Puppy Wednesday!

More by Veronique de Turenne:
It's Puppy Wednesday!
A bit of heartache in Solstice Canyon
Signs of Saturday: Trick or Treat
Moody blues, coastal edition
tbt: Sky life

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