Hiking China Flat

It was early evening on a hot day in May when I headed out with my two friends and two dogs to see the last of the wildflowers on the China Flat trail.

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The hills were still green from the winter rains. The peach and pink mountains created a lovely backdrop for the green and silver scrub.

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The hike started out with a gentile rise that gradually grew steeper. We would be going up to an elevation of 1,081 feet.

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As we rounded the bend, the mountains gave us some much-needed shade. Mornings or early evenings are good times to hike this trail because it can get very hot.

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We were starting to break a sweat from the climb; the shade felt good. My two Maltese were also very happy to cool down.

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I wasn’t long before we were greeted by an oasis of yellow wildflowers, natures rock garden!

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As we traversed higher we began to get a good workout. Hiking is a great way to keep your heart healthy. My friends and I were beginning to see some amazing views of Oak Park.

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It was about here where one of my dogs put the brakes on and stopped to rest. After a few minutes, I picked him up and continued on.

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We came across some yellow-orange Monkey flowers. I paused to admire their natural beauty.

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Hiking in nature always refreshes my mind. The panorama was stunning up this high, looking over towards Agoura Hills!

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On the way down this lollipop shaped trail, we saw more wildflowers, like this pretty Wild Lilac.

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The hike up China Flat is 4.1 miles out and back. This trail in Oak Park, California, is a good one for beginners, if you go at a leisurely pace, and it offers lots of natural beauty to entertain your eyes along the way.

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Happy trails, Linda

 

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth the heights of the mountains are his also. – Psalm 95: 3-4

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Earth Day Gratitude

Spring is here and my attention naturally turns to the outdoors. I like to enjoy the wonder and beauty of our earth, fresh air and pure food.

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Stopping for a yoga stretch on spectacular Zuma Beach.

I am very thankful to God for this world. In honor of our miraculous planet, and Earth Day, I would like to share some thoughts that are on my heart.

“I willingly join in spirit all who are grateful to the Lord for the fruits of the earth and the work of human hands, renewing the pressing invitation to respect the natural environment, a precious resource entrusted to our stewardship”. – Pope Benedict XVI

To show our gratitude, along these lines, my friends and I enjoy planting trees and raising vegetables. Some of us have recently installed solar panels on our property. The panels are producing well for us. In addition to saving the environment, my family is saving money on electric bills. I know, ‘a drop in the bucket’ compared to what needs to be done but it’s my ‘bucket’. “Scientific research demonstrates that the impact of human actions in any one place or region can have worldwide effects.” [1]

In Praise of Human Activities that Build Up and Sustain the Earth

Earth-GandhiVandana Shiva, is an insightful woman who had the vision over 25 years ago to save seeds. She had “an ethical urge to defend life’s evolution, life diversity and the freedom of life…”. She created seed banks when she realized big corporations were going to make seeds their intellectual property by “marrying seeds to chemicals”… and they have. [2] I do not agree with all her philosophies but in this, she did have some good foresight.

Henry Doubleday also saw the need to preserve heirloom seeds. He set up the Heritage Seed Library decades ago to preserve seeds of as many of the older cultivars as possible to prevent their catastrophic loss.

The Dangers of GMO

Preserving the purity of their product, growing crops free from contamination by genetically modified crops and the pesticides used on biotech versions is a concern and getting more difficult and more costly for U.S. farmers.

NON-GMO“Food & Water Watch is calling for USDA to start tracking and analyzing incidences of contamination and associated economic losses at all levels of the supply chain”. And the group also is also asking for USDA to “hold biotech seed companies financially accountable for losses associated with GMO contamination”. [3]

“If they control seed, they control food. They know it. It’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs, it’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world.” ~ Vandana Shiva

Genetically modified organisms have been banned in many countries around the world. [4] I look for the NON GMO and USDA Organic label when I shop.

marco-degli-esposti-campi-verdi-foods- (2)For the most part, my family and I live a plant-based lifestyle. My Nephew, Marco Degli Esposti, recently started a business cultivating fresh sprouts and wheat grass juice for natural food markets and home delivery. It’s a labor of love for him; he is enthusiastic about their proven health and healing benefits. A survivor of a near-death experience, Marco has an amazing and courageous comeback story. You can read about it on his Campi Verdi Foods website. It will inspire you!

A World Without Bees?

Since 2006, more than 10 million bee hives have been lost, losses far exceeding the historical rate. Honey bees are responsible for pollinating a good portion of our crops and their dwindling population will have adverse effects on our food supply. As a new report from the US Department of Agriculture details, “scientists are still struggling to pinpoint the cause of so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and time is running out. “ “Currently, the survivorship of honey bee colonies is too low for us to be confident in our ability to meet the pollination demands of U.S. agricultural crops,” the report states. It is a “threat to both beekeepers and to those agricultural crops that rely upon pollination as a production input”. [5]

Suspects causing bee death have included pesticides, fungicides, disease-bearing parasites, and poor nutrition. In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on a reason why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once. [6]

My respect for the important part honey bees play in circle of life on this planet makes me wonder if the collapse of their colonies will cause a ripple effect through all of nature.

Home is Where Your Heart is

I am blessed to live in an area with open space and many maintained hiking trails. Walking in nature, restores my spirit and provides me the opportunity to lift my heart to God in appreciation and prayer for His creation.

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Three Springs trail overlooking the Westlake reservoir

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My daughter, Lindsay and her friends don’t want to imagine a world devoid of the magnificent natural wonders I enjoy regularly. We are all responsible for sustaining the earth for the next generation and should be involved in doing that one way or another.

Blessings, Linda Eichberg

“The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good”. Genesis 1:12

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” Psalm 57:11

Refrences:

1) The Environment by Pope Benedict XVI – http://www.amazon.com/The-Environment-Pope-Benedict-XVI/dp/1612786286/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1334934661&sr=8-4

2) http://youtu.be/dsK3V04LAvw

3) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/03/usa-gmo-contamination-report-idUSL1N0LX1OU20140303

4) http://www.realnatural.org/many-countries-ban-gmo-crops-require-ge-food-labels/

5) http://www.usda.gov/documents/ReportHoneyBeeHealth.pdf?_ga=1.158011065.280595142.1398097528

6) http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0070182?_ga=1.145360823.280595142.1398097528#authcontrib
http://qz.com/107970/scientists-discover-whats-killing-the-bees-and-its-worse-than-you-thought/

Copyright, Linda Eichberg, all materials contained within this blog may not be used without expressed written permission.

Earth Day – Blessing the Earth

Earth Day is April 22; I am reminded to think about how I can make a positive impact on the earth. Last year, to celebrate Earth Day, I bought reusable stainless steel water bottles to use in place of the plastic disposable one’s I had been using. My family also made a monthly commitment to Greenpeace USA. In years past, I have bought the ladies in my bible study fashionable reusable grocery bags and made a pledge to recycle Styrofoam packing peanuts at my local mailing center.

Our Beautiful Earth

Last week I returned from a family visit to Pennsylvania, during cherry blossom season. The trees were exquisite! Driving by the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia was a spectacular site!

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My love for trees inspired me to support the Canopy Project this year. Sponsored by Earth Day, one tree will be planted for every dollar donated. Jaden Smith speaks passionately about this project. Learn more about The Canopy Project.

 

Remembering Earth Day With Gratitude to God

I enjoy taking ‘gratitude hikes’ to the beach. I like to take groups of friends, mothers and daughters. We have fun! It’s a great way to relieve stress and keep fit. Being together on the beach brings out our inner child and grows our appreciation for nature and each other. It draws us closer to God’s magnificence and supports our beautiful State Parks.

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Sitting on top of Point Dume, Zuma Beach with Marianna Riccio, Maria Lauren, Susan Buckner and Linda Eichberg

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Balancing side plank, a joyful expression of health!

I appreciate how the earth sustains and nourishes me and my family with the food it provides. When I eat, I will consider how the food is grown and the people who sacrificed to get it to my table. I am supporting organic and non-GMO food growers.

Since ancient times it has been recorded in The Holy Scriptures that God rules over the earth and we “are like grasshoppers” living on it. Our Father in the heaven, gave us the earth as our dwelling place. It is a perishable gift that we must handle with care. Grasshoppers can be destructive and ravenous. The earth is not ours to abuse. It is fragile like we are. I prayerfully ask God for wisdom for this generation and the next, to save and heal our world.

How does your family protect the earth or reduce their carbon footprint? It can be something simple like not running the water when brushing their teeth or washing the dishes. I’d like to hear your ideas.

Happy Earth Day with blessings, Linda

Reference: The Holy Bible

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. ‘To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ says the Holy One.” – Isaiah 40: 21-24 (NIV)

 

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.