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Guided trip in Orange County for pics and nature

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

These chances come up very rarely, from what I'm told, and are usually full within a few minutes of posting. A couple of vehicles from the Irvine Ranch Conservancy are used and we are driven to different spots to take pics and sometimes hike short distances. It's a 13 miles trip and 4 hours is the time allowed for this. My friend Lynda managed to find this just as it got posted and there was room for 2 guests and 1 volunteer I think she said. She is a volunteer and me and her husband were the two participants she grabbed up. It was really a lot of fun!

First, while getting instructions for Limestone Canyon, where we went, we had to stop briefly because this bobcat wandered over to get a drink from the tub and didn't seem to mind us. Since this is a nature and/or photo op of course everyone wanted to see.

The trip staging area was the same place we had the Volunteer Recogniton Banquet a few days ago. There are several hikes a day in different areas of the Irvine Ranch land that are guided. Other than that, the areas are closed and gates locked because too much wear and tear destroys some of the natural beauty, plants, animals, etc of the area. But there is plenty for every taste daily in the day and the evening. This one was on Sunday afternoon from 3:30 to 730 pm. I felt very lucky to be able to see the bobcat and get such good pictures!

We loaded up and drove through some beautiful area before we stopped again. Narrow winding mountain roads but so beautiful!

The area here is one side of an area known as The Sinks. Later we'll see the other side, which I like even better.

From this area we turned around and went down the hill and turned off toward another area

We hiked down about half a mile, but I didn't get photos because of trying to keep my balance LOL. This area is where we met the vehicles and was a shaded beautiful area to drive to the next spot.

The leader showed us a piece of wood that had been attacked by woodpeckers. They left very neat small really round holes. Very interesting!

After this we drove up to another area where there is a viewing deck to look at the other side of The Sinks.

I love the views from this side of the area.

When we were driving a different way back to where we started, we passed some areas that had the poles and flags. These are areas where new plants are being planted and mustard plants (which are not native and grow like crazy) are being pulled out. My friend has done some of this too until her knee gave her too much trouble for this work and then about 6 months ago she has a total knee replacement. The dr told her it could take up to a year to get more back to normal. So she does other things and stays busy.

After flat Texas its nice to see some hills again like I saw in New Mexico. Hope you enjoyed seeing a little of southern CA.
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