October required fun: nature hike

Time again to remember how others relate to camp: required fun!

We gathered at lunch time, and hiked to Mountain Lion Maw (my tentative new name for the headwaters of Caballo Creek, aka Junior Overnight Site, aka That Place Behind the Stables). There were a dozen of us from Heart and Stewart, with my favorite niece and nephew on the younger end of the age spectrum.

Along the way I pointed out flowers and trees: Snow on the Mountain, Walnut, Retama or Palo Verde tree, Chinaberry, Purple Verbena, Four-o-clocks (Mike, who’s from Mississippi, calls them Three-o-clocks, due to the time zone difference). We saw Cherry Trees, Soapberry Tree, Frost Weeds, Cedar Elm (in bloom, the poor dear, so confused), Horehound, Lamb’s Ear, Smoothleaf Jimson Weed, and Silverleaf Nightshades. Several plants are said to be poisonous, others edible–but we weren’t that hungry.

Actually, lunch awaited us at the head of the trail. Mr. Lugo and Benito had built us a big fire with lots of coals. We hollowed out the navel oranges and filled them with chocolate cake batter, wrapped them in foil, and let them cook while we at our healthy wraps and chips.

The little ones enjoyed exploring all up and down Caballo Creek, and we visited and teased, and got a good dose of woodsmoke. After eating our chocolate orange cake, we made the short trek back, and resumed our day jobs.

The taste of camp was nice, and always better with a little wood ash on it!

Hasta luego.

About the Author

Jane Ragsdale

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Jane Ragsdale (Mrs. Dick Howell) is the director of Heart O’ the Hills. She was a Heart camper and counselor, and served as program director from 1978-87. She has been one of the owners since 1976, and director since 1988.

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