Seven members of the Los Padres Trail Riders met up at the Live Oak Camp for a lovely spring ride.
We ended up doing 6.61 miles in 2:41 minutes on the trail, no one fell off and a good time was had by all.
Downtown Santa Barbara was fully engulfed in maritime fog, and it was a question whether over the mountains it was going to be a good day for riding.
Once on the trail it was obvious that the access roads have been significantly widened and many dead trees and fallen limbs pushed off to the side.
I always enjoy seeing this tree when we pass by.
Like some venerable bonsai, it has been shaped by the greater forces of its environment and gives the impression of great age.
The bark on one section is like some marvelous reptile, while another has been hollowed out. One set of limbs appears dead, while another is putting forth spring growth.
A large section of oaks here all look dead, casualties of drought. It takes a very long time for oaks to achieve the massive size of so many here, and these were just not strong enough to weather the change in seasonal precipitation.
No, a turtle!
Upon inspection he was a water turtle, and clearly was not in a good place for him.
But we humans were just looking for landscape and nature appreciation.
And next thing we knew, we saw even more wildlife.
At that point it was decided we'd seen enough for one day, and we turned to go back to the trailers and a leisurely lunch under a shady tree.
But first we tipped a nod to this venerable landmark as we passed by, the ancient trunk that marks the Bee Hole Corral. It is covered with woodpecker holes, and when I first started trail riding out here was much bigger. But time and the elements have been weathering it away, even here in the Land of Climate.
But my day was not over. Mr Turtle needed to be returned to the lake.
The river looks very nice here near the campground, but currently it dries up and goes underground between here and the lake, and where the turtle was found was a high meadow at least half a mile from any water. So I transferred him to a bucket and set off on my mission of mercy.
After taking a moment to reflect on his marvelous good fortune, and meet two of the neighbors, he skedaddled into the cool mud.
And so my good deed for the day was accomplished.
And Tobe Mule and I headed for home, sure to return.
All the thoughts of a turtle are turtle.
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