Look who I found nosing around…more San Gabriel Mountain adventures

What a nice change in weather direction! Rain! And lots of it. If you didn’t happen to catch my last post about the fire area and potential mud flows, not to mention my nod to John Muir and the San Gabriel Mountains, you might want to see the photos I shared HERE.

After two solid days of rain, the flooding and mud damage was well-contained, and from what I can tell, we should be very happy with rainfall totals. Ski areas have opened and everyone is enjoying the clean air. We need more of these storms, but for now, let’s be happy for what we did receive!

Our poor Zena was a little undone by the sound of thunder. Poor thing! It’s a good bet she’s never heard it before. It made me think we might do well to have some puppy Xanax on-hand before the 4th of July. Fireworks will undoubtedly be entirely too much for her.

Since I’m now enjoying a book about John Muir’s time in Southern California and in particular, his study of the San Gabriel Mountains, I’m feeling an itch to explore. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a little drive. Between storms, of course.

Six miles from my home–I clocked it–is the entrance to the Angeles National Forest with an easily navigable  winding road up into the San Gabriels.

And then–surprise!

Before I was even on the mountain highway, I was treated to a private show.


I am surprised I saw this little guy, so nearly camouflaged in the brush. But then, before I moved on, brothers and sisters crossed the street right in front of me, and joined their sibling for some late afternoon munching.

In the words of four-year old Karina when she saw a family of deer last month, “Oh! My dream has come true!”

These are some of the animals I worry about when there isn’t enough water, or when the wildfires ravage the area,   or when their habitat is threatened by human encroachment.

After a brief visit with these little guys, I just had to take a few minutes up above the city. Every once in a while I just need these views!

The next storm was coming and visibility wasn’t as clear as I might find another time, but it was quiet and peaceful. What more could I ask for?


I think you’ll be seeing more of these views. Next time I’m taking a picnic dinner…and of course, Jay can come along!

Weekend is over…on to a good week!

56 thoughts on “Look who I found nosing around…more San Gabriel Mountain adventures

    1. Funny you’d say that, Andra. I haven’t seen any news footage, and have just been listening to radio accounts. I hope I haven’t missed something. My impression was that the foothills had done well under the circumstances. We flat-landers have done fine. I think it’s probably like most news coverage. A little added drama is usually included. 🙂

  1. I love the mountain views! I’ve been craving a trip to the mountains soon. I just find them so peaceful and inviting. And what a treat to see the deer. I always love that. Here’s to a great week!!!

    1. Where I ventured wasn’t really too high up into the mountains, but the moment I began the ascent I at least had a change in climate and trees, and could really feel like I was miles away! I don’t see deer very often, so this was a big treat, Kristy! I hope you and your sweet family have a wonderful week. 🙂

      1. I know what you mean about the deer. We used to see them almost daily at our old house. Now I can’t recall the last time I saw one. They are so sweet to watch. 🙂

  2. I thought about you when I heard about the rain. You all SOOOOOOO need it. I worry about the animals who have so little to drink, but what precious photos. By the way, one of our dogs is terrified of storms, as well. Hope you had a great weekend, my friend.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    1. Kathy, it is so kind of you to think of me with the news reports of rain! We had such an enjoyable weekend. With rain quite heavy it just seemed the perfect opportunity to stay home and watch movies. LOL! Zena was actually trying to get into the pantry closet. I thought that was quite brilliant. Almost like she knew how to find an interior space and be safe. Animals are so amazing, aren’t they? I hope you have a wonderful week, my friend. Thank you for your well wishes. 🙂

  3. Teaching your pet that is secure with you during loud sounds is very difficult, I only have managed to do it my cat lately, but I have to be laying down in bed with her.
    Nice Deers 🙂

    1. We eventually sat down and turned on a movie, AuAu, because we really needed to sit with Zena for a very long time. She eventually calmed, but I had never seen her so nervous, poor thing. She was all cuddly, which was kind of sweet. 🙂

  4. Brilliant…. rain… and I think you so desperately needed it… the poor dogs that suffer from the thunder and fireworks, my one dog digs tunnel to get away from it when we’re not home… shame…

    1. The rain was so sweet, Rob. I was glad we didn’t have to be driving at all this weekend, so we just stayed indoors and enjoyed the sound! Zena was actually trying to get into our pantry, which is an interior small room with a door! I had it open, and at first thought she was going for her food, but I quickly realized she’d identified it as a safe place and was trying to hide! Rather brilliant, really, but I felt so sorry for her. I do realize that if we have a repeat of the weather, or, as I said, thinking ahead to fireworks, we would absolutely have to be with her. I don’t think she’d be safe if left to herself, poor little thing.

  5. It’s raining in Sydney and it’s raining in LA. I’m glad there’s some water for the wildlife. The deer are just gorgeous – you don’t see scenes like that in Sydney xx

    1. You must have enjoyed the rain, also, Charlie. I stare at these beautiful mountains all day every day…they are “right there” every time I leave my home, but I very rarely take a drive up into the foothills. I can’t wait to take the girls up there soon, and hopefully find the deer again. They are just so graceful! 🙂

    1. The rain was really lovely Colleen, and we “flat-landers” weren’t in any danger from the mudslides. I was very concerned for some of my friends who live in the foothills, and they were very inconvenienced, but didn’t have any serious home damage. I found that with the rain we stayed home and had a quiet weekend. That was wonderful. I think we often need an excuse. When it’s sunny and warm we are energized and feel like we need to be productive. My productivity this weekend involved a lot of sitting and watching movies. LOL!

  6. That is quite a view Debra! Your drive does sound like it was relaxing… and a picnic is a great idea. I can’t wait till it’s warm enough to picnic with our dogs in the garden again this summer! That rain was probably life-saving to the wildlife in the Forest. We tend to forget about the animals when people are suffering from weather extremes too.
    Have a great week!

    1. I am sure you’re very eager to have picnic time in the garden, Cathy. I’m sure it won’t be long now–or that’s what we keep saying, right? 🙂 The road up into the foothills was wonderful if only to find quiet! I was so delighted to find the deer. I think I’ll try to stop by from time to time and see what other animals I may find…of course, there are bears in that area too, and I really don’t want to encounter them. LOL!

  7. dandyknife

    With its teeming population (not!) of 68,000, Saint John probably doesn’t compare fairly with your neighbourhood, but just to say that around here the deer have learned to adapt to suburban life. They expand their taste range to include ornamental garden plants that they might not have bothered much with before (sorta like how humans get through a war by eating more turnips). It’s we humans, come to think of it, that are less flexible, bemoaning the fact that we can’t plant tulips and other “deer salad bar” favourites anymore.

    Your final photo suggests there are still wild spaces for the deer to hang out in. What a delight to have seen a whole herdlet of them! May they continue to thrive.

    1. The deer are adaptable here, too, I think. I’m hardly an expert on their habits, but I have friends who live up in the foothills and they share your experience! Their garden is also a buffet! 🙂 My friends have told me the deer even eat their roses, which seems like a rough meal to me, but as you say, they are adaptable! This little deer family was very close to homes, so I’m sure they must get into the gardens, too. I don’t see the deer very often, so when i do, it’s such a wonderful experience. I like to pretend that I live in more open space then I really do…but I do have a few hiding places. 🙂

  8. I was thinking about you with all the news about the rainstorms. I’m happy that your area only had much needed rain and none of the damage.

    1. Thank you for thinking of me, Karen. I can honestly say that this was a wonderful weekend! We stayed close to home and just hibernated. The roads were a mess, and it was so nice to stay indoors and just hear the rain! Occasionally we’d just open the door, stand and watch it coming down! LOL!

  9. Pingback: Rain And Cheers | Stolon Kisses

    1. It must be a little bit of internal conflict to have the deer destroy your plants, but they are so lovely and graceful, it would also be hard to turn them down! What a dilemma! I must say that it intrigues me that you live next to a game preserve, Kate. That is so cool!

      1. It’s only cool when I don’t have the damage from visiting critters although I do love it. Yes, it is a conflict but I let it go (and bought a HUGE fence for my garden)

    1. The rain was incredible, wasn’t it? It’s a bit funny to call rain “incredible” but you know what I mean. 🙂 I thought of the little deer family when the rain came down so hard, and hoped they got a good drink! I hope to get up into the local mountains again for a photo shoot on a clear day!

    1. I think we’d enjoy the video, Nancy. Thank you. We’ve actually been talking about taking the train up into Oregon. We’ve taken the train as far as New Orleans, but never gone north! The Sierra Mountains, up around Yosemite, are absolutely spectacular. They were Muir’s true love. I was just glad to know he liked my local mountains, too. They aren’t quite the Sierras!

  10. The views are magnificent – I love views like that as they differ each time, depending on the weather, or the time of year or time of day. So as long as you take your camera with you and your picnic lunch and Jay I’ll be happy 🙂

    1. Thank you, Claire. I love the view from up above our city. The congestion “down below” doesn’t look quite as crazy if I’m looking down on it. 🙂 I will share some other photos soon from a little higher up the road at one of the campgrounds. WHen I arrived there were people sitting there with take-out food! They’d been to McDonald’s and brought their meals with them to eat from a more beautiful location. I think I can do better than a Big Mac, but I liked the idea. I’ll bring the camera. 🙂

  11. Dear Debra, recently, while driving on US Highway 24 here in Independence, I saw cars stopped up ahead and then saw a family or maybe two families of deer cross the highway and quickly move into a stand of trees on the south side. Then, just as the cars started up, a doe who must have been around a year old–given her size–stepped daintily onto the highway. We all put on our brake as she slowly crossed the highway and joined her family. As the poet says, “my heart lifts up when I behold . . . ” nature in all its abundance and simplicity. Peace.

    1. What a wonderful sighting, Dee! I can imagine the hush that would come over you to see the deer family holding up traffic! the grace with which they move and circulate even among the cars! I’m so glad they were observed in time to halt traffic. It is so good to hear from you. I hope you are well. ox

    1. I’m the same way, Jo! I never get tired of our backyard urban wildlife! I rarely see deer, however. I know they’re in the foothills, but unless I am in just the right place at the right time, I don’t see them. So this was a real treat! 🙂

  12. Rain! Glorious rain!
    And there are your deer! I’m wondering if you know what kind are indigenous to your area, as these look a wee bit different from the ones we have here, the white tail deer, for their white flag tails that flutter behind as warning when then run. These look like they might be mule deer. We saw them in CO. They came right up to where we were picnicking and were smaller than the white tails we see in Illinois and very curious as to what we were eating. Oh, Debra, isn’t it just grand to come upon these amazing creatures and to feel that same childlike excitement as Karina?

    1. You’ve given me a little quest to follow, Penny! I’m not sure about the deer. I would enjoy learning a little more about the animals that live in these foothills. There is a local nature center that could help me, and I would love to know more to help the girls begin to distinguish the different species. I was so shocked when they literally darted in front of me. I think the spot I was in is probably a good place to return from time to time and if lucky, maybe I’ll be able to visit them again. I do enjoy finding these little pockets in the city where I can pretend I have my own Cutoff. 🙂 I’m glad I could share my little discovery. ox

  13. Yippee! I’m so glad the rain came in volume for you, Debra, but without too much damage. 🙂 Your photos are lovely and I can see why this area appeals to much to you. That view is superb!

    1. Thank you for sharing in my rain inspired happy dance, Perpetua! 🙂 We had a lovely, quiet weekend, just enjoying the entire region being washed clean! I am sure my garden enjoyed a nice long drink. 🙂

  14. LOL about Zena! My daughter’s corgi seeks shelter from the thunder…behind the toilet! What a big wuse he is…

    Indeed, we got some rain! But it was over as quickly as it started. Nevertheless, any bit of water is welcome! Glad you saw Bambi!

    1. I’m laughing at the thought of a poor little dog cowering behind the toilet! That’s so funny! Zena is such a big dog, but she tried to hide in the pantry! I felt like we had plenty of rain for one weekend. On Saturday it hardly stopped. I hope we don’t have to wait too long before we enjoy a repeat performance! 🙂

  15. Poor Zena! My dogs prior to Max were terrified of thunder, When I got Max, I was determined that he wouldn’t follow suit. When it rained, he and I went out to the yard and stayed there while it thundered. He hated getting wet but today he doesn’t mind thunder or fireworks. The weather gods must be fed up with us. California needs rain — but not too much! We need warmer temps — but not too warm. In both cases, if we get what we’ve been asking for, floods are likely. Beyond flooding, yesterday it was reported that with some 90% of the Great Lakes covered with ice, Spring in this entire region may be delayed and cooler than normal. There are rumors that “expert” has moved away and is living under an assumed name.

  16. Amazing photos of the deer! I’ll have to show them to my husband. Whenever he sees a deer, he wants to stop and take a look. I hope the rain will do much to end the drought and the fire danger. Our oldest son lived in San Diego, and the school where he taught was destroyed by a fire (before he went there) and rebuilt. Thank you for again liking my post.

    1. It was so nice to have you stop by and share your thoughts about drought and fire danger. There have been some really terrible brush fires in San Diego, and I do remember one a few years ago that did a great deal of property damage. I was on a walk this afternoon near the base of the foothills and looking up at some of the houses nestled right into the mountain. And the hills continue to be so dry. I think I’d be a little fearful. I hope we get a little more rain before we head into summer!

  17. Pingback: Zena the Wonder Dog experiences her first temblor while I practice Tweeting! | breathelighter

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