Saturday, April 05, 2008

Spring beauty at Lakehead rest stop in California

Maybe better known as Lakehead rest area, not far from Mount Shasta and Shasta Lake. The spring colors were delightful and soft like the afternoon air when I pulled over on I-5 at the Lakehead rest stop. It wasn't even that I needed a break at that point, but I'd been seeing brilliant purple trees along the road and I wanted to take a photo. The rest stop seemed a good bet.

Andy later said these were redbud trees, and sure enough if you look them up online, you'll see. Please click on the photo. The flowers are beautiful up close! I'm not going to take the time tonight to research the species, but I expect they're an import and not native to northern California. That would make them an invasive species, which is not a good thing, but wow, are they gorgeous. Green is beautiful, but it was the bright purple that caught my attention alongside that stretch of freeway. The timing was perfect.

Speaking of green, the greens were also outstanding and varied. Soft, bluish and almost dusty looking on the manzanita with its deep red bark, pale spring green in the tall trees just leafing, and the contrasting dark of the pines.

I was also more than pleased because I FELT GOOD when I got out of the car after such a long time on the road. In the past, my left hip would have been in such pain I'd be nearly bent over until I could unkink. Something has happened in the last few days to relieve me of a 7-year-long irritation, and it was heavenly to walk around the wooded area feeling no pain. Feeling . . . almost normal!

I remember when rest stops were either gas stations or a lucky scenic turn-out on the road. You didn't usually get restrooms and scenery at the same time, so I think it's a nice innovation. I don't know if all of the states have this now, but California and Oregon both have some good places to pull over for bathroom and stretching breaks. Nice. It was a pleasant respite from the road. With color.

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