Today D. and I visited Castle Rock State Park in Santa Cruz. It was a strenuous walk (for me, at any rate) through beautiful woodsy terrain to Castle Rock Falls. The park is home to coast redwood, Douglas-fir, and madrone forests and a variety of habitats and intriguing rock formations.
For me, it was an experience of the small-scale, the microscopic, the discrete. No grand vistas or sweeping views, but instead a series of gnarled roots and rocks along the trail, lichens and moss carpeting boulders and tree limbs, faint birdsong and the rushing chattering creek, fungi hugging rotting trunks, pockets of dappled sunlight and lacy ferns; all in tones of muted green, brown and grey.
Just outside the park entrance we made a chance acquaintance moseying along the road. Say hello to my new friend Mr Banana Slug.
Then we came home to make Green Velvet Soup with veggies purchased at the Sunnyvale Farmer's Market this morning.