Friday, January 28, 2011

Stonewall Peak

on top of Stonewall Peak, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, San Diego County, CA
These are some of the pictures from our hike last Sunday at Stonewall Peak. It was a beautiful day, sunny, blue skies, not so cold, not so warm (in the low 60s), just perfect for hiking. The trail meanders through gentle switchbacks, supposedly with old growth black oaks, sycamores and coniferous trees. However, all these were burned in the last 2003 cedar fire, which I mentioned in my Lake Cuyamaca post 2 weekends ago. 
trail meandering through burned forest
Vegetation however is recovering, some new branches are emerging prettily mixing with burned branches.
Life Continues On
The dead trees however for me reveal still a beautiful past, though their limbs barren, but they speak deep character of how life continues leaving us with beautiful images despite it may have passed away.
Completely Barren Trees, however, new life are slowly sprouting around it
The last section of the trail is on an exposed ridge, but it does have steps and a handrail for safety.
Steps To the Peak
For those who may think hiking is boring, climbers may consider rock climbing routes to the summit. At the top, one can take in the rolling topography of San Diego County.
Rolling Topography Seen from the Top of Stonewall Peak
There is no Pacific Ocean view at the top because looking West, the much taller Cuyamaca Peak blocks the line of sight. Below Stonewall Peak is the Lake Cuyamaca.
Lake Cuyamaca
Parking for Stonewall Peak hike is at Paso Piscacho Campround, and had a blast observing the acorn woodpecker making sounds on top of the trees, hiding the acorns on the hole, flying to get more acorns, and flying back to their granary tree.
Acorn Woodpecker with a acorn on his mouth (notice the many acorns on the hole of this
pine )
There were just too many of them, flying back and forth, making sounds as they peck the woods, only that it was so difficult to take them a picture since they were so high up in the tree, the sun was right above, and our lens was not very good for zooming since we don't bring zooming lens when we hike because of the weight. Hopefully when we get a chance to go back there, we will bring the right zoom lens so we can have better picture of these happy birds. Because it was not so easy to take a picture of the woodpeckers, I instead focused on the beautiful sky which seemed to be whipped gently by clouds.
the black dot you can see on the sky is not dirt from lens, it is a flying bird :)
Anyway, we had a beautiful day at the Cuyamaca Mountains, and the day ended beautifully for us as well by the sea.
From the Mountains to the Shining Sea, we had a beautiful day

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  1. Hahaha :D The woodpecker is very cute. As if it was wearing a hat. :D

  2. I like hiking. Needless to say, your photos made me happy.

  3. The trail looks pretty rugged, but the views are spectacular. I love your images and commentary about the burned trees, very moving. And the woodpecker is adorable!

  4. What a wonderful hike you've had, Betchai. Spectacular views all around, but the last photo is out of this world..

  5. Wow look at the view from the top. I'm glad there was a handrailing for people like me who don't like heights. Gosh, that woodpecker has enough food for many seasons. :)

  6. The sunset was just as rewarding as the hiking trails! The lake still exudes its beauty with the colorful foliage.

    We might be going to SD this weekend, but we do not know our schedule yet.

  7. Wonderful photos as always, and looks like a nice place to hike.

  8. That barren tree must be very eerie at night. Great trip betchai :)

  9. I love the different areas that you've photographed. I love hikes!

  10. i like the last pic best. the burned forest, r the trees still alive or they do need to rely on new growth?

  11. Thanks for taking us on your hike with you. I particularly like the photos that featured trees. Yes, even the burnt and barren ones.

  12. oooops, blogger didn't update me about this post...
    i so love the last three photos most! breathtaking as always... and needless to say unBETHable. ;)

  13. What a beautiful hike. We were watching woodpeckers this morning.

  14. It is warmer here today, and we just got back from the park. DJ is taking some awesome pictures, and learning a lot.

  15. Ang ganda talaga mag hiking...once narating na ang tuktok feeling mo close to heaven ka na hehehe...

  16. You know, since my back surgery 25 years ago, I barely walk though I remember wonderful hikes up until I was 40! Your pictures are indescribable - a joyous awesome photojournal that enriches the senses and is so visually spectacular. Your narratives just highlight everything! I, too, have always loved the mountains and the sea and that's what makes living in the Bay area so wonderful.

    It is eerie seeing the burned trees - macabre - but the new life gives one a sense of hope.

    The woodpecker is so cute...and I cannot believe the industry that has that pine filled with acorns! No dieting this winter for them.

  17. wow! as always i am catching my breath after reading and viewing Betchai!!!

  18. Pretty amazing scenery for a little hike!

  19. awesome... it would be awesome to hike there with you guys. wink*

  20. What an interesting place. I'm just not sure I could handle the barren-ness of the west all the time

  21. you never fail to amaze me with your photos, Beth. you are truly a great inspiration! i know i am bias but i so love the sunset photo at the end of this post. ;)

  22. I just use the sort of digital cameras that you use to take pictures of yourself with your friends at a party but i'm really fascinated with rock photography, or photos in magazines of indie bands, in black and white sometimes. it would be great if i could learn how to take that sort of pictures but i don't know how to get started! help.Thanks