"Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray, where nature heals and give strength to body and soul alike." — John Muir
I had the pleasure recently of hiking within the Fond Family Open Space. This is a parcel of land in the Verdugo Mountains, about 500 acres in size, purchased by the Fond Land Preservation Foundation and set aside as a preserve and as a deterrent to future development. Although this is private land, from dawn until dusk it is open for the public.
I was hiking with a large group of 50 or so people and a handful of dogs. We entered the trail from an easement in Shadow Hills and hiked from west to east, nearly to the 210 Freeway. I've always admired the view when driving past this land on the freeway. It was fun to be in the vista for a switch.
The trail we followed stayed on the ridge, granting spectacular views in every direction, and a couple I may like to paint. While most of the group continued on, a half dozen of us turned back earlier. As easy to follow as the trail appeared heading out, on the return trip there were a few turns in the trail and at least one that I might have made the wrong decision about taking. While not a disaster, as civilization is all around, it would likely have ended somewhere far from the car, thus completely undermining the whole purpose of returning earlier.
From San Diego to Vancouver, 100 Artists of the West Coast II covers 100 artists with over 400 full color photographs of their work. The collection includes art from private as well as public collections and installations, including the collections of LACMA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art New York, and the New York Public Library to name just a few. I'm happy to be included.