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  • Erin


I took my binoculars up the hill today, packed in the car with our sleds and warmest clothes.

I looked forward to hiking around the snow park while my family sledded (I was bowing out due to pregnant belly). I thought I might use the binoculars.

We were turned around by signs announcing the highway was closing 5 miles ahead of us due to snow and lack of visibility.

We abandoned the plan to sled and wound our way off the highway and drove up to a spot we thought might be good to hike.

We got just high enough to be in the snow in Foresthill and had a mini snowball fight at some picnic tables that usually overlook a a valley and the often-snow-capped peaks of Desolation Wilderness. The fog and snow obscured the mountain peaks.

Kiddo loved watching the snow from the car window and had said he wanted to touch it so the snowball fight fit the bill.

Back in the car we drove down out of the snow and into the rain to the confluence of the South and Middle Forks of the American River.

Enroute, our windows fogged up from the cold and rain and we passed the parking lot for a hike kiddo and I did this past in the sweltering, dry, foothill heat of July.

At the confluence we did a short hike but steep up Training Hill. Straight up striped rocks covered with fallen oak leaves; we kept warm in the cool drizzle from the steep uphill. Kiddo enthusiastically lead the way up this hill proud in his new snow boots. I was so happy to see him so enthusiastic and not asking to be carried.

Arriving home we all had our hands full carrying stuff in from the car. Kevin approached the house as a Cooper's hawk flew from our front oak tree to the fence. He pointed it out and we all stopped and watched it.

The hawk flew up to the electric wires that run along our street. His yellow feet were bright against the grey, cloud-heavy sky. Chest and head feathers rippled in the cool wind. It was quiet for a long while until I heard a bird I don't recognize call periodically; maybe alarming about this hawk?

Having driven my binoculars up the hill and back without using them; I had them handy now and took them out to get a close up look at this bird. Front yard, city birding!

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