Laguna Mountains were my “first love” and hiking grounds on America’s West Coast in Southern California after moving here in October 2010. Though it’s location, with the steep drop into the desert to the east, is quite dramatic and offers excellent views into the wide open space below, the area itself is actually not so much a place of “grand scenery” and mountains as I had known them from my hikes in Germany, Austria and Italy.
But perhaps that’s why I like it so much. Much like the desert, it is a great place to discover the intimate landscapes, the little scenes, the details. An open forest of tall Jeffrey Pines and the sound of the wind, brushing their needles. The meadows, lush, green and full of wildflowers in spring, then turning into a pale beige in summer. The lakes with waterfowl, filled to the brim in spring and turning the meadows into a bog – or with a thin sheet of ice on them in the winter. The first fresh leaves on the Black Oaks, of a soft magenta actually before they turn green, then turning into a bright yellow in Autumn, glowing in the warm evening light. The views to the west into the setting sun from Sunset Trail, towards the soft, rolling hills of Rancho Cuyamaca’s East Mesa, Stonewall Peak, and Cuyamaca Peak. And of course the dramatic drop into the desert on the Eastern edge, from Pinon Point near Stevenson Peak, Monument Peak, Fosters Point, Garnet Peak, and Kwaaymi Point.
All that keeps me coming back multiple times each year for a hike with Toni, some friends, and the camera. I hope this collection of images transports the affectionate relationship that I’ve built with this landscape to you.
Also have a look at my three latest blog posts:
- Scarlet Larkspur (Delphinium cardinale)
- The Bugs like Milkweed
- Gloomy Morning at Scripps Coastal Preserve
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