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Vibrant shows of Spring

Two vivid signs of spring

Two vivid signs of spring in southern California

I got a chance over the weekend to do my best to capture spring’s arrival in southern California, and chose as the best place to do it the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, a hideaway nearly walking distance from home where I’d never really been.

The state park is on the south side of Jefferson Boulevard, a remnant of one of the properties once owned by tycoon “Lucky” Baldwin, who despite his name wasn’t sufficiently fortunate to live long enough to see oil discovered there.

The land is now preserved as a site for native flora, like the vast fields of California encelia, not surprisingly part of the daisy family. The displays say there are also some wild animals—coyotes, squirrels, and rattlesnakes—but I didn’t see any of them.

The road to the top

The road through the flowers to the top

The park turned out to be a gathering point for those looking to get a little exercise up the road from the coastal plain to the top of the hill through the wildflowers.

I chose the road less-traveled—the hiking trail from the visitor’s center through some fields to the peak. It was an invigorating walk with great views—the ocean and Santa Monica to the west, Century City to the north, Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire, and Downtown LA to the east—and wonderful flowers. And it had the advantage of being a little less taxing than the route straight up the hill.

I’ve posted a slideshow with more of the shots I got, and I made them a little larger. Don’t hesitate to share your views in the Comments section below, or on Facebook.

Astonishing to me was the fact that this rugged land of indigenous and wild plants and animals was a few hundred yards south of, and a few hundred feet above, one of southern California’s rusting industrial corridors.

And then there’s the question of how I could live in this area virtually all of my life and not even know the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook was even here.

Ahhh, the discoveries in our own backyards!

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