A few weeks ago our parks were re-opened. First the parking lots remained closed and only people who live in the vicinity of a park could access it by foot or bike.
My favorite parks are not in walking distance from my home. While I could access the lake by bike, the ride there is no fun at all on busy roads with no bike lanes. Even riding along more quiet neighborhood streets can't avoid the busy intersections.
But the old rural cemetery is close to our neighborhood. It was also closed, but now finally we were able to access it again. Of course there were rules in place, all of which make perfect sense.
There was also another sign that was less comfortable...
We live in cougar country and they have been spotted in our neighborhood, so I was aware of my surroundings and avoided the most remote parts of the cemetery.
After the long closure of the parks and the complaining of the people about it I had expected that the cemetery was crowded because people were so eager to get outside and enjoy some nature. But to my surprise I was almost the only one wandering the trails.
A small section of the cemetery had been turned into a native plants garden years ago. It was a bit overgrown but there were still beautiful flowers to discover.
Calycanthus occidentalis (Spice Bush)
Lepechinia clycina (California Pitcher Plant)
Of course Lathyrus latifolius, the perennial peavine, could be seen everywhere.
After walking for quite a while I found a bench where I sat down for a while, listening to the birds, breathing in the wonderful scent of the old trees, feeling the sun on my skin, hearing the whispering of the soft breeze in the leaves, watching busy little squirrels and just enjoying being in nature.
Only a week later the parking lots were opened as well while beaches at the ocean still remain closed (except for coastal residents). But I'm still weary of crowds and avoid the more popular parks. I find all the peace and calmness of nature in this old cemetery where time seems to stand still. This is enough for me right now.