Gazing into the greenery that once was Lake Cachuma.
On a typically bright and sunny day, 6 horses and 1 mule and their owner members of the Los Padres Trail Riders and the Horse & Mule Meetup of the 805 set out to take a leisurely stroll from Live Oak Camp out to a Cachuma Lake overlook.
We went 5.36 miles in 2 hours, and a nice time was had by all.
The spring growth contrasted sharply with the stark land forms with steep chalk sides rising above the valley floor.
The first wild life we saw was a coyote who came boldly out to observe us and then followed us for quite a while. Inset bottom right for detail, the iPhone is not the best at telephoto shots!
Then we saw a bit of tragedy, what I believe to have been the gnawed on skeleton of a stillborn foal. The tiny hooves could not have been more than 2.5", and it must have been the offspring of the wild bucking horses that roam freely on the property.
The roads have been greatly widened, presumably for the fire department vehicles this winter. It changes the experience when what used to be trails have become jeep tracks, and jeep-wide tracks now can accommodate fire engines.
We went as far as the picnic table that used to be a nice place to stop and rest and look out over the lake. But as the photo that started this blog shows there is no water visible from this point now.
The horse riders pose for the mule riding photographer.
And Photoshop allows me to be in both places at once.
And then we headed back.
Again the iPhone was not up to the job of recording what the eyes could see, on the opposite side of the Santa Ynez River were several Canada geese. Inset mid-photo. A welcome sight in a healthy ecosystem.
So no drama today, just a nice walk in nature.
We stand somewhere between the mountain and the ant.
Native American (Onondaga) Proverb