The worst fire in the history of the Santa Monica mountains left the landscape bare and black. Southern California lost 83% of cherished parkland and open space in the Woolsey fire. But perfectly timed rains were the ideal scenario for recovery. They revived the burned out wastelands and turned them into green colorful landscapes.
Fire helps seeds to germinate. This was one of the reasons an abundance of owls clover graced the Pentachaeta trail this Spring.
Golden fields of wildflowers carpeted the area adjacent to the Oak Forest community where over a dozen dwellings burned in the Woolsey fire.
Hiking along the Pentachaeta trail was magical.
When I returned to the trail later in May, wildflowers were still abounding, even after a couple of weeks of hot days.
The variety of different kinds wildflowers was amazing!
My sister and niece also get excited by nature’s artistry. Together, we witnessed the amazing transformation of the scorched hills.
FAREWELL TO SPRING
These late blooming Clarkia’s are aptly called, Farewell To Spring!
The Pentachaeta trail shares a trailhead with the Westlake Vista trail. That trail also had some lovely late spring wildflowers.
I saw only one lone grouping of wild sunflowers.
Painted Lady butterflies made an impressive showing.
The fire burned over the top of the Westlake Vista trail into Three Springs Park in my neighborhood. Thankfully, the fire was stopped at the perimeter. The burned hills in the park, gave birth to a magnificent field of Phacelia grandiflora.
Tall and spectacular, these purple beauties bloomed from May into June in Three Springs Park, Westlake Village.
I am grateful no homes were burned in my neighborhood. I’m also thankful for the rebirth of our open spaces after the horror of the November, California wildfires.
Have a blessed and joy-filled summer. ~ Linda
“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.” – Numbers 6: 24-27 NLT
Nature has provided a bounty of wildflowers from the burn scar areas of the devastating Woolsey fire. Stunning shades of purple flowers stretched out into the distance on the Cistern trail.
Only a heavenly gardener could have arranged such a lovely arrangement of lilies and lupines.
Amazing plate size Matilija poppies graced the trail trailhead as my friends and I started out on our Cistern to Lookout Trail hike..
Bold magenta wildflowers and interesting rock formations added a degree of magic to an area that was only a few months ago black sticks and ash.
At the junction of Cistern and Lookout trail, vibrant poppies pointed to evidence of a tree charred by the Woolsey fire.
The fields in Agoura Hills were dazzling with color from early March and well into May.
Lookout Trail leads into Malibu Creek State Park, in the distance. It’s nice that this trail provides some shady areas.
Incredible hot pink color. The center looks like a flower within a flower.
Pastel wild lilies adorned the trails in local Westlake Village and Agoura Hills trails from April into May.
In the midst of the wild lilies and mustard with my furry friends. The hills of Malibu are in the distance.
A stunning perspective of Malibu Creek from above.
My first time seeing these dainty button shaped flowers.
April’s fields of lupin blossoms, gave birth to thousands of painted lady butterflies in May.
“Behold, I make all things new.” – Revelation 21:5
My wish for you is that you will be refreshed by nature as I have been. May God bring you into deeper levels of inner renewal. If you are going through difficult circumstances or have experienced loss, I pray the promise of spring’s restoration of the barren, fire scorched hills, will bring you hope,
“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” – Isaiah 61:3 NLT
Give gratitude your attention. Feel it’s light and energy. There are no limits to the greatness of gratitude.
When you practice gratitude, you create new pathways in your brain. It changes your perception. The more I appreciate, the more goodness comes to me. I am grateful for eyes that see natures beauty. What are you grateful for today?
Local Super Bloom
Spring is a beautiful time to explore natures bounty. I came across these amazing fields of wild poppies while out exploring the hills in my neighborhood.
The poppies were hiding in the trails adjacent to the Westlake Village Community Park. Just beyond the poppies, I discovered an area of delicate blue wildflowers spread out like a carpet. They danced in the breeze.
I was delighted and kept walking. Around the bend I found an additional surprise, large fields of wild Lupine. Butterflies were everywhere, flying in and out of the purple-blue flowers.
I could hardly believe my eyes. These hills were black a couple of months ago, burned down to the dirt by the Woolsey fire. The fire was the reason for so many wonderful wild blossoms.Tall stalks of mustard plants were growing along with the Lupine (lupin).
I’ve cooked wild mustard greens from the local hills with some onions, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mustard greens are delicious and a powerful superfood! They are full of the antioxidants, vitamin C and glutathione which boosts immunity and prevents cell damage. High in calcium and vitamin K, mustard greens can help avert osteoporosis. They have numerous other health benefits. Pick the tender new growth.
I was excited to bring my daughter and sister back to this spot on the weekend. They were thrilled with the dazzling display. We couldn’t resist posing with nature’s glory.
It was a perfect spring day. I’m so grateful we shared this time together. We found grace in our gratitude of this beautiful place.
“Nature does not, hurry yet everything is accomplished.”
– Lao Tzu
I enjoyed pausing for a moment to soak up the late afternoon sun and listen to the song birds.
As we continued on our hike, I noticed some of the Lupine I had seen on my first visit was plowed down during the week, to make the hiking trail wider, but it was still lovely. Lindsay and I sampled some of the peppery young leaves of the mustard plants as we walked ahead, ready to discover more of God’s artistry and beauty.
My home town, Westlake Village is in the distance. What’s in your community? Check out the AllTrails App for hiking ideas.
The richest person in the world is not the one with the most money but the one with the most gratitude.
Happy Spring! ~ Linda
“On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.” – Psalm 145:5 ESV
This morning was the first day of fresh air since the Woolsey fire ravaged our communities. It’s been raining and the rain has washed away the stale odor of smoke from the charred hills. I’ve taken fresh air for granted until this devastating fire.
I am one of the lucky ones who’s home was spared by the ravenous fire but I still mourn the lives and homes lost.
I live adjacent to a reservoir, so even after the evacuation was lifted, for days I heard the buzz of the air dropping helicopters and whirlybirds that scooped up water nearby to fight the fire as it moved north.
I am so grateful to the firemen who traveled to my hometown, Westlake Village. They came from all over the United States, to help save our homes.
These gentlemen who are posing with my niece, Marianna, and my two dogs are from outside Seattle.
The fire tragedy followed just one day after the Borderline mass shooting in neighboring Thousand Oaks. My sister and I sang at this local night club, so we know it well. In my mind, I pictured every horrifying detail as it was reported.
God bless Sergeant Ron Helus who went in first and lost his life. His bravery saved countless lives. The other 11 casualties are: Cody Coffman, Justin Meek, Alaina Housley, Telemachus Orfanos, Daniel Manrique, Sean Adler, Noel Sparks, Kristina Morisette, Jake Dunham, Blake Dingman and Mark Meza Jr. I hope they will not be forgotten.
COMMUNITIES COMING TOGETHER
Our communities are rallying with an outpouring of love. We’re holding fundraising concerts and other events to help the families of the victims. I have seen blessings of grace where people are turning loss into gratitude.
In this frightening and confusing time, we are all searching for ways to help ourselves and others heal. My niece Erin wrote this poem to help process her grief.
I DO NOT ANYMORE
This morning I sit in my office, as I do most every day, My heart is heavy, thoughts are swirling, I know not what to say.
I cannot help but wonder if I’m safe behind my door, I used to feel safe and secure, but I do not anymore.
Is my daughter safe inside her school as she learns with all her friends? Is my father safe in the restaurant where a client meeting he attends?
Is my mother safe inside the gym as she lifts weights to get strong? Is my brother safe inside the club as he spins records blending songs?
Is my uncle safe in the courthouse as his clients take the stand? Is my cousin safe in the hospital where she holds her patients’ hands?
Is my aunt safe in line at the bank as she waits to cash a check? Is my rabbi safe in our synagogue with a tallit around his neck?
Are my friends safe is any space as they go about their day? Is my community safe as once again we light candles and we pray?
Are teachers safe in classrooms? Are actors safe on stage? Are revelers safe at parties? Or must they fear those with hidden rage?
Is there safety inside stadiums where for our favorite teams we cheer? Is there safety inside shopping malls as we shop for gifts this year?
I hear the word “tragic” yet again, read “senseless” in news feeds. “Thoughts and prayers” are thrown about, as if that’s what we need.
I have no words of wisdom, there’s nothing poignant I can share. I just exist here with a heavy heart and try not to despair.
Anger takes up space in me, tears overflow my eyes, As I think about holding my daughter tonight when out of fear she cries.
I ask the same question I asked last week, and too many times to count, When is enough is enough is enough for change to come about?
But for now, I sit here wondering if I’m safe behind my door, I used to feel safe and secure, I do not anymore.
– Erin Eichberg
This has been a sad and challenging month for our quiet community but with the rain, comes the hope of new life and new beginnings. As we rebuild, I’ll hold this hope in my heart.
“Each morning we are born again. It’s what we do today that matters.” – Buddah
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4