Lonely Pine

There are a few trees on the western slope of the mountains near Hidden Valley Regional Park.
There are a few trees on the western slope of the mountains near Hidden Valley Regional Park.

On Walkies yesterday, the Girl and I reached a bit higher than we have the last few outings. I wanted some elevation; she just wants to hike and hunt. With the time change, we’re out earlier (sidereal time) and the light is better. I like this. I think my morning routine needs some change with less indoor time early and more outdoor time early. The improving weather is a boost as well.

We had a string of wet, gray, windy, cold days. Those conditions make hiking more difficult. It’s not impossible, just more difficult. The light was not as pretty and the views not as nice, so the photographer wasn’t as motivated to get out.

Yesterday was cold, but not really cold. The sun makes so much difference. The Girl, who is nearly naked (a friend once said “Girl, you should know better than to go out in a sheer neglige!”), has to keep moving to generate the heat to keep warm. She does, never complains (well, rarely), and is the consummate lizard-hunter. Alas, we’re a little early in the season for her favorite prey to be active. (But she finds one once in awhile.)

The air felt good, with little wind and plentiful sun. The trails out at the Hidden Valley Regional Park are good, mostly. Some are quite challenging and I have yet to get to the top of the range. But with the higher path, we got farther back into the mountains than we have before.

While on the trail, we crossed a ridgeline and I saw this little pine, struggling against rock, wind, and lack of water. With the Eastern Sierra in the background, the scene was appealing. So, I made a few captures while the Girl searched for critters.

Unfortunately, I had a conference call to make, so I cut my hike short and headed back down the hill. I really wanted to keep going. Hiking out like that does something good for me and the mountains bring a peace that I love.

One the way down, I called Older Son to chat. I looked over my shoulder to check on the Girl and saw her “bounce” on a bit of brush. She was in full hunting mode, having jumped something she could chase. I laughed at her and called her to go. She’s such a hoot to watch.

Neither of us is perfect. I have my moments. She has hers. Most of the time they are at different points in time and they add out. Sometimes there is a nexus of conflicting desires and emotions and we squabble. I suppose that is the nature of relationships.

But we make up, apologize for our wrongs, and move on. The relationship grows.

Legally, dogs are considered property. “How long have you had your dog?” is a question I sometimes get. “She’s lived with me for five years,” is often the reply (if I give one). She is not property; she is friend, companion, helper.

We returned from our hike, tired, sweaty, and ready to get on with the day. I stripped off my wet base layer, cleaned up a bit, and prepared myself for my conference call. Then my day got started for real.