Ephemeral Points of Light
I was afraid I had missed Spring in San Dimas Canyon this year. Something about the first exceptionally hot days awoke me to the potential loss. Spring can be fickle, dependent upon Winter's rain, and how quickly Summer decides to turn up the thermostat. I need not have worried, however, those steep-sided walls have sheltered and preserved Nature's most brilliant blushes of color into this first weekend of June. True, the Buckwheat and Indian Tree Tobacco were both living on past glories, but the Monkey Flower, Indian Paintbrush, Goldenrod, and others were still putting on a good hillside display. The dam isn't holding any water back these days, but there is some flow coming down canyon from somewhere further up the mountain; the marsh is dry, though hidden in its greenery (the trees and large shrubs in the bottoms seem to be doing especially well this year) the stream ribbons through, pausing briefly at the last vernal pool held tight against the canyon's eastern wall. There is no sound from those waters at this point in its descent, but further down, where it approaches, cautiously, to within feet of the road, its gurgling over rocks, around deadfall, and into and out of shade from the overhanging trees, compelled me to pause my ride, just for a moment to listen. The sweat on my arms and legs, celebrated as a victory from the short climb to the road's high point (not really very high), were almost instantly cooled by the thought of refreshment carried to my ears from the nearby stream. When I first rode into the canyon from descending Golden Hills, seeds floated lazily on a slight breeze, tiny ephemeral points brought to illumination by the suns mid-morning rays. On the way back out, I sought the same image, same location. The moment was past, however, and not to be repeated on this day. Some moments, like that one, are fleeting and must be grasped instantly before they fade.