It's been awfully blah and uninspiring here in San Diego in the week I've been back, those cool gray days where you might get a sunbreak for an hour or two before the marine layer rolls on in again. I've been feeling the need to see blue skies, so we decided to head east to the mountains for one of the 'usual' hikes, the figure-8 loop on the west side of Mt Laguna.
And what a wonderful day--the skies were blue once we passed Alpine, and the wildflowers were certainly going off! I guess there was more rain up there than I realized; the stars of the show were the honey-scented ceanothus and the many clumps of scarlet bugler (a pentstemon) and the hummingbirds they attracted. But in between the obvious flowers were lots and lots of little ones, even a wild fritallary (which was sadly not in bloom, so I couldn't readily identify it).
Temperature was just about perfect, maybe a little warm, and though it was busy with holidaymakers it wasn't crowded and everyone was happy and friendly and having a good time; the mountain bikers were particularly thankful when we stepped aside on the meadow portion of the trail.
That's about it--a good 7.5 mile hike in about three hours, right around 6000' elevation. Pictures below.