2012-06-10 A Weekend in Idyllwild

Pygmy Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatches in Garner Valley, near Lake Hemet., Riverside County, California.

I spent an early June weekend with my ex in Idyllwild, a quaint little town nestled a mile high under the peaks of San Jacinto Mountain. Idyllwild has shopping for artsy stuff scattered around the center of town, which appeals to my ex, and nearby restaurants and scenery which appeals to me. There are trails leading from nearby parks to provide pleasant encounters with nature. South of town, near the road into town are a few destinations worth exploring. Garner Valley and Lake Hemet are two locations I visited during my stay here.

Idyllwild has its share of artists. In fact, The Idyllwild Arts Academy, a high school for gifted young artists, dancers, musicians etc., makes its home among the pines down-slope from the town. Every summer they host a jazz festival in town. It’s an informal open-air amphitheater event with seating on the grass. The event adds charm to an already interesting community.

Water is a problem for this town. More people wish to live here than this valuable resource can accommodate. In this way, Idyllwild is a microcosm of all Southern California, but this community is acutely aware of the issue and restricts development for profit. The same cannot be claimed for the rest of the region. We talk about our water shortage. We place restrictions on its residential consumption, yet if there’s a dollar to be made, dozer blades continue to carve the land and developers get rich.

Creatures who met my camera included Pygmy Nuthatch, Turkey Vulture, Cliff Swallow, Spotted Towhee, Merriam’s Chipmunk, American Robin, Acorn Woodpecker, Steller’s Jay, Western Gray Squirrel, Northern Flicker.

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