When I stumble upon incredible beauty on my hikes it blows my mind. No, I mean, when I see something stunningly gorgeous I absolutely DO NOT wax poetic, I do the complete opposite. I go totally brain dead. My eyes pop out, my mouth hangs open, I feel completely stupid, and these words actually come out of my mouth, “Come On!!” “What?!” “Shut Up!” Sometimes I even say the F-word. I say these things even when I’m totally alone because I have to say something and my awe can only be expressed at these moments in that way. I did a lot of “What?!” and “Come On!” today while hiking the Solstice Canyon in Malibu today.
I hiked the Solstice Canyon Trail then made a loop of it by returning via the Rising Sun Trail. First, it must be said that this hike is simply one of the most beautiful, diverse, interesting, and enjoyable hikes in the area. Also, it is packed with gorgeous ruins of historic homes that have been preserved by the parklands for all to enjoy. There is a stream that incredibly is still running now, at the end of the dry season, and several waterfalls. There are views of the ocean. Lots of lush greenery shades the trail. And wildlife, mostly in the form of birds of every description, is everywhere. I saw a tiny bunny hop across the trail. He stopped and stared at me for a while. I tried to slowly reach for my camera, but that movement scared him off. He probably thinks that a photograph would steal his soul.
As if all that isn’t enough, the canyon is home to a flock of black-hooded parakeets. They most certainly bred in the wild after escaping the shackles of domestic entrapment. This doesn’t surprise me. One time I was at Malibu Beach with my family on a crowded weekend. The girl on the beach blanket next to ours actually had her pet bird at the beach with her. It was in a little travel cage under a blanket. She kept talking to it and blowing it little air kisses. It was windy and loud and must have been very stressful for poor little Tweety. I’m sure if she’d turned her back for a moment he would have made a jailbreak and joined his buddies in Solstice Canyon. I judged that girl to be weird, but who am I to talk? When I was in college I had a pet dwarf rabbit that I would take out sometimes on a leash and a little harness. Rabbits are no fun to walk, by the way. They hate being out in the open where you want to walk. They want to be under bushes where they won’t be eaten by neighborhood cats.
Anyway, back to parakeets. The Southern California climate must be particularly hospitable to parakeets as I remember sharing a neighborhood with a similar flock when I lived near Carthay Circle between Beverly Hills and Hollywood.
An added bonus is that I seem to see this Biggest Loser van parked at the same places I go hiking. I guess I’m picking good spots that make you thin.
Janathon stats for today are 3.4 miles at 2.4 mph, 2964 ft elevation gain, 3125 ft elevation loss (oh my knees!).