Earlier in April was Toni’s official 14th birthday – official because she’s a rescue dog, so we don’t know her actual birthday. Considering that I have her since 2006, it’s probably accurate. To celebrate, we drove up to Palomar Mountain and hiked down to the open meadow of Love Valley, which is really one of our favorite places in the county – cooler than in the valleys, secluded, quiet.
And very beautiful in Spring, after the nice and wet winter we had. The seasonal pond was filled, and buttercups and violets were growing in the meadows. The surrounding chaparral hills were full of purple Ceanothus in bloom, and its smell and pollen attracted thousands of bees. But also, like in so many places with grazing, they’re filled with invasives unfortunately – large parts of the Love Valley meadow was full with storksbill at the time we visited, and both my shoes and Toni’s legs were sticky from their sap at the end of our hike.
But that didn’t dampen our mood at all – just look at the photos and you can tell that we both had a great morning! :-)