Monday, November 3, 2014

A nature walk

It's finally beanie-wearing weather down here.

In the above photo it's a nippy 62 degrees outside, requiring that I don three layers, one of which is a down vest. Because: WIMPY.

Sixty-two degrees is short-wearing weather in the Pacific Northwest, where I'm from. But here it's curl-up-by-the-fire-and-drink-hot-chocolate weather. It's dipped into the low fifties in the evenings here lately, so we've had ample opportunity to sip hot chocolate. (Click here for a yummy hot chocolate recipe for all you dairy and refined sugar-free folks).

These brisk, sunny afternoons have a way of coaxing me out of the house, away from my piles of grading and into the glorious countryside. Incidentally, laundry, toilet-scrubbing, and car-waxing also have a way of coaxing me away from my piles of grading. It doesn't take much, folks.

Los Angeles, bathed in afternoon light

I had to live here three years before I could detect the change in seasons, but now I'm an old pro at sniffing out a southern California autumn. And this weekend, I smelled her, so I went on a nature walk to look for signs of her presence. They're subtle, but they're there.

The quickly sinking sun was the first clue that Fall is here:

The sun is much more inclined to hit the hay early when Fall is in town. Heck, I am, too. It's 9:41 PM but my body could swear it's after midnight. Am I a wimp, or am I a wimp? Isn't the fall time change supposed to be a glorious, sleep-allowing affair? Why do I feel like a truck hit me? Thank goodness for this invigorating chill in the air! ;)

I spy some fall colors at the end of this trail!

Can you spot the burnt orange?

There's more of it!

And a splash of red! It looks like the bugs had an autumn feast recently, and poor little Red was the main course:

Well this looks like a cozy fall home for furry critters:

If I were a hedgehog I'd be sure to curl up in here for a long autumn's nap.

The views in these hills are breath-taking in all seasons. It's hard to see, but downtown Los Angeles is on the horizon in this photo.

Here, I'll zoom in so you can see:

There she is, wrapped in a thick ribbon of gray smog. 

Did you notice the trees in the upper right hand corner of the second to last photo? These are some of my favorite trees in southern California. They lose their bark to display smooth, naked trunks. I love to run my fingers up and down their smooth skin. 

A nature walk wouldn't be complete without a photo of the fall sunset:

Our autumn sunsets are always spectacular:

Holy. Smokes.

I hope you dream sweet, autumnal sunset dreams tonight, my friends.



© by scj


  1. What kind of PhD program are you dreaming of?

    1. Something that allows me to explore the intersection of theology and literature. I'd love to also look at the role of the imagination in our spiritual formation. There are a few programs around the world that would allow me to do this... Still looking. :)

    2. That sounds interesting. I thought of C.S. Lewis after reading your description. Would he be someone whose work is in the intersection of theology/literature? If you can form the dream team of dissertation committees, including historical persons, who would you include?

    3. Yes, C.S. Lewis' work showcases this intersection! I'm particularly interested in fairy tales, so I'd love to look at Lewis' work, along with George MacDonald's, Tolkien's and maybe even J.K. Rowlings.

      My dream team... hmm, this is a lovely question that I'll need to think on more.... If I could rewind time somehow, then I'd love for the Inklings to be on my team, of course. But given my time travel limitations, I think Trevor Hart at St. Andrews would be a great addition to my team. Peter Kreeft probably would, too. There are several more, I know it. I just have to sludge through all my morning thoughts to retrieve their names!