my partner, g, and I went for a hike this morning in wildcat canyon park. i won't name the trail, because i don't want it to be swarmed. it was pure magic. the trail was embedded in a tangle of eucalyptus, flowering buckeye, live oak and bay trees, many of them slithering across the ground like mossy snakes. their ancient boles were twisted, gnarled, buckled, gapped and crazed. We came upon a large hole in a tree with a shelf of scalloped white tree lichen inside the size of a cake-dish, and the shiny sap-sided hole was abuzz with busy honey-bees.
As we hiked along the trail with blue sky visible in a thin path directly above our heads, we occasionally noticed brightness in the distances beyond the trees - sunshine on the grassy hills around us, dry in july and brilliant with the sheen of sun on straw. Under our feet we turned up ocean-rolled black stones and the layer directly below the surface of the trail was pure sand.
Later on our stroll we came upon a sort of natural amphitheatre on a miniature scale. The lower half of the terraces were papered in large deep green ferns and black rocks. The upper layer was dark with criss-crossed and roiling boles and boughs of trees with heavy canopies of leaves. Through the ferns and boles of the thick tree cover roamed unfettered cows, eight of them, some of them with young. We never think of cows as primordial, but of course they are - sacred in many cultures - and these beautiful bovine presences, gigantic and rounded, surrounded by forest, ferns and vines, seemed ancient and majestic in my eyes. Black, chestnut brown with white, golden and pale, they were slowly, gracefully making their way along a narrow switchbacked trail down the arboreal slope to the creek below for water. A community, yet each one clearly individual in its motion and consciousness.
In the warm air above us, buteos hovered for many minutes before flapping briefly to move on in their hunt. We saw a group of five wild turkeys, two adults and what looked like three teenagers, in the brush. On our return walk we sniffed the sweetly fragrant blossoms of the buckeye tree standing near the short overgrown bridge across the tiny creek near the trailhead. Our noses pressed on either side of the blossom, it only made sense to kiss beneath the blooms. What a sweetness~! You should definitely try this sometime. I recommend it.