SORRY, BUT I AM CANCELLING THIS MEETUP DUE TO WEATHER. I'll reschedule soon.
Springtime can be a little subtle in Southern California, so here is a chance to go look for it. The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, between San Marcos and Escondido, is a wonderful natural hiking area leading up to the Olivenhain Dam with vistas to the San Gabriel mountains, Mt. Palomar, Lake Hodges overlook, and the ocean. It crosses the Escondido Creek - a real, live, year-round creek in Southern California.
I'm planning to take a monthly hike through the park to observe and photograph springtime as it comes to Elfin Forest, and thought I'd turn it into a broader Meetup activity.
Let's meet at the Interpretive Center (itself a treat, designed by artist James Hubbell and others). I'll be heading (slowly) up the Way Up Trail (a moderate hike up 800 feet in .75 mi) to the area overlooking the dam. I'm planning a bit of lunch at the picnic area, (water and clean pit toilets availble), and then head back down early afternoon. There are a number of trails available from there.
Photo ops include panoramic vistas over the lake or from the lookout areas; birds, macro, creek, and the forest.
There are also shorter trails along the creek that are flatter and less strenuous.
I plan to repeat this trip about once a month, so that we can see the progress of the plants as they open up to spring.
Here is a short film I made about the Park (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O32xt-uKE4I).