Saturday, April 12, 2014

More Spring Wildflowers, and Some Critters

Today I did a 5 mi hike with a photography group on Palomar Mountain. We parked at 5200 feet, hiked down to a pond, and then back up to the car.

We saw some nice flowers, and even a few critters for a nice change.

Mountain Pink Currant
Mountain Pink Currant

I haven't done as much hiking as I've wanted to lately thanks to a nasty case of tendinitis. I first went to the doctor and looked up what I could on the internet. The advice? Rest, ice, elevation, compression, and take an NSAID like Ibuprofen or Aleve. Plus some recommended stretches and exercises. Well, that didn't do jack for me. Or maybe it was helping but then I re-injured my poor feet on an 8 mile hike that I did after several weeks of prescribed not-hiking. But after that, it's been weeks with a second trip to the doctor, a referral to the podiatrist and little relief. (No appointments available for the podiatrist til mid-May.)

This week a friend recommended a trip to Roadrunner Sports for custom insoles. Roadrunner Sports was amazing. They analyze your feet, your stance, and your gait, in addition to making custom insoles. The guy looked at my old insoles and showed me how to tell that they were beyond worn out. He also looked at my hiking boots - those were worn out too. So I bought new ones of those too.

The new shoes and custom insoles make a world of difference. I also looked up some scientific studies on tendinitis, and those all say to do these exercises. And those exercises are similar to the ones I'd seen elsewhere online, but different in an important way. And you can do them and get custom insoles and replace your shoes before they are entirely worn out to PREVENT tendinitis if you'd like. Believe me, you don't ever want to get it. Ever. Because if you do, you can't go hiking and see stuff like this...

Penstemon
Some type of penstemon. I think it's Scarlet Bugler but it could be Beaked Penstemon.

Above the Clouds
The view from the mountain this morning

Baby Blue Eyes
Baby Blue Eyes

At this point in the hike, we came across three mule deer. They were pretty mellow and hung out a bit once we showed up, but eventually they took off. I couldn't get too close, so the pictures aren't ideal.

Mule Deer

Mule Deer

Mule Deer

The scenery:

The View
Looks pretty, but a lot of the greenery is actually poison oak. Never seen so much in my life.

We reached our destination, the pond, where we encountered some tricolored blackbirds, western bluebirds, and ducks.

Pond
The pond

Tricolored Blackbird

Western Bluebird

Western Bluebird

Mama Duck and Ducklings

Then I decided I needed to lay flat on my stomach to get a good picture of a plant (below) and rested my arm on top of some nettles. It still itches. Think it was worth the pics I got?

Henbit
Henbit, an herb in the Mint Family

Henbit

Henbit

Checkerbloom
Pretty sure this is called checkerbloom, in the Mallow Family

Checkerbloom

And then we headed back to the car. Up hill the whole way.

The View

Wild Canterbury Bells
One last flower. Think it's called Wild Canterbury Bells in the Borage Family.

Wild Canterbury Bells

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