I was in a little bit of a shock driving out of the canyon this morning. I have never seen ceanothus bloom this early in the year. We usually have to wait until March. I knew it would be an early bloom when the white hoary leaf ceanothus started blooming two weeks ago.
I have been here for 43 years and have never seen the purple lilac go off so soon. The mountain you see is Gavilan Mountain. I live under its shadow and gaze. It is said that the natives would go to the top of the mountain during heavy rains. I have only hiked up to the top one time. Ran into a surprised herd of deer in a hidden oak glen.
Before the Vail Dam was put in, the water flow in the Santa Margarita River was much greater, at least thirty percent higher. It washed the railroad out three times. The natives told the railroad men that the track was not built high enough but no one would listen.
You can tell by the geology that the water has historically been over fifty feet higher than the top of my roof! I can't imagine my peaceful valley being host to a loud train. Only one piece of trestle remains that I know of, east towards Morgan Springs.
Gavilan means small hawk or eagle in Spanish. It is apropos because we have a higher concentration of hawks than anyplace I have ever seen. Another reason it is a perfect home for me!