A Visit To Placerita Canyon State Park

Last Friday, Glenn Malapit and I took a trip to lower Placerita Canyon State Park.  This is the area of the nature center that offers a series of short hikes around the canyon.  Placerita Canyon was the site of the first California Gold Rush in 1842 when a hired hand, Francisco Lopez of the Rancho San Francisco, discovered flakes of gold.  But today, that memory has faded, and the canyon is known for its branching trees, boulder formations and creek beds.  Scrub oak, and huge sprawling oak trees abound, with sycamore and willow where the shade is plentiful.  What struck me were the magnificent patterns of dark branches against a blue sky.  The rocks, mostly quartz, feldspar, and gneiss, with gleaming biotite mica, provided their own wondrous forms.  The area is quite dry and exposed, so a coolish day is recommended for extensive walking.

When Glenn and I arrived, there were bus loads of children with teachers ready to introduce the kids to the natural world.  Most of the children walked around in the nature center to view samples of natural phenomena and to hear talks on the special features of the park.  It was not quiet, but children add their own qualities to the park experience.  The photos below reveal some aspects of Placerita Canyon, but one needs to go there to appreciate its bounties.IMG_6252IMG_6257IMG_6258IMG_6261IMG_6264IMG_6267 IMG_6272IMG_6280 IMG_6283IMG_6291IMG_6300

To The Philippines With Love

For the last few years I’ve learned about the Philippines through our family caretaker, Glenn Malapit, a remarkable, highly intelligent fellow from Luzon.  One thing that especially impressed me was the caring network that occurs in some high schools.  He is part of a class of 200, which has established a mutual fund to help friends in need, such as teachers who need medical care and impoverished individuals.  All the members contribute what they can and a classmate with business acumen is selected as treasurer.  I might also say that virtually all of his classmates went to college and many acquired advanced degrees.  This ability to care may come from the extended family, which is common in the Philippines.  Whether the extended family is due to Spanish influence or tribal is difficult to ascertain.  This trait makes people from the Philippines ideal care workers.  Since they learn English, they migrate to the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.   In hospitals and care facilities throughout the U.S., Philippinos make their presence known through their ability to be sensitive to the needs of others and we are the better for it.