I often dream of living in the countryside. Open green spaces, endless fields, and wild flowers make up my image of content and peaceful life. Luckily, I live on the outskirts of the city (a big city with almost a million residents), and I can enjoy a bit of countryside almost in my backyard.
There are beautiful hills and a wonderful county park with infinite hike trails right next to my home.
These are the hill views from my backyard. Also the first photo is what I see from my dining room. I love that view in winter times when I have my cup of morning tea or coffee. And in spring and summer, I get up early to enjoy my coffee on the patio looking at those hills and trees. That’s the best way to start my day!
The hills are at their prime beauty in early spring. After the winter rains, they are so lusciously green. And it’s when the wild flowers bloom.
Oh how delightful it is to walk paths such as this one!
The orange flowers are California poppies – the state flower of California.
Another delight that the hills offer is meeting wild animals – mule deer, wild turkeys, hares, and California quails. Once on a hike, my husband and I even saw a family of feral pigs – a mommy and three piglets, but they were far away off the trail and didn’t even notice us. Our hills are also the home to more dangerous residents – mountain lions and rattle snakes, so special precautions should always be taken when hiking.
As the summer arrives, and in California it arrives early, the hills change their appearance dramatically. Green color begins to disappear and yellow begins to dominate the scenery. The wild flowers disappear, and the hills remind me of the African Savannah, which brings the danger of wild fires.
Right now the hills are in the transition from green to yellow. A few more weeks, and they will look almost lifeless. My family and I try to enjoy their beauty while it’s still here. We go up the hills to the county park a few times a week. Sometimes we have a picnic there; other times just take a short walk with the kids. Staying on the main ground of the park is safe; mountain lions don’t come there, but other harmless wild animals can be seen in the distance, which fascinates the children.
I especially like being there at and right after the sunset. At that time the place has such a tranquil and calming feeling.