A week or two ago I took a turn off the main north/south road in San Clemente near the extreme north end of town and discovered that the little dirt road extended well back behind the mountain and eventually turned into a narrow trail. On Wednesday, I returned to that same road to do some exploring.
In this post I will share some photos of things I discovered on my ride up this country road.
At times the road was wider and opened up to reveal beautiful vistas of the surrounding hillsides.
I got this picture of the backside of the mountain that borders the town on the east side.
Property owner’s gates and side roads branched off and eventually the road tuned into a path and then became a small stream run off path where I had to abandon my bicycle and proceed on foot.
While I was walking along the small stream bed I came upon a section where the water was pooled up and still in small ponds. Curious bubbles were percolating up in these ponds.
You can see moss or algae along the sides, so the bubbles may be from decaying organic matter.
But I suspect there might be some of San Clemente’s frogs or toads beneath the surface waiting to emerge in the next rainy season. What ever caused the bubbles – they were interesting. Here how they looked close-up.
The area was lush with plant life. In some areas the wild flowers grew on vines that covered the hillsides and climbed up over the shrubs and trees giving the entire vista a blue tint.
And, of course the abundance of wild flowers provided a haven for thousands of bees and butterflies and other insects. As I pushed on through the narrow sections of the trail on my bicycle I drove through hundreds of spider webs. (That and the mud on my tires is what made me get off my bike and walk – no use risking another spider bite!)
Sometimes the cacophony of sounds from the insects and birds and heaven knows whatever else made me feel like I was deep inside some jungle hundreds of miles from civilization. I was not on a mission for insect pictures, so I did not take the time to sit and wait for a lot of pictures of butterflies, but I did catch these few pictures of butterflies as I walked on by.
And where there are butterflies there are also caterpillars. I saw this little creature ambling across the pathway.
I think I could have cropped this picture and claimed that it was some colorful coral I found on a reef under the sea.
The baby blue tree-like spines contrast with the pearl white body. What a beauty to find on a dirt path!
Speaking of things that look like they could come from beneath the sea – I also spotted this little flower that looks a little like some sea growth one might see on a coral reef.
It reminds me a little of a monofilament Christmas tree and wreath we had in Ohio that had small lights on the end of each of the filaments. Doesn’t this little beauty seem to glow?
I reluctantly turned my bike toward home and saved further exploration for another day.
One of these days I am going to have to return with a small shovel. There are many areas where the stream bed turns and has eroded the hillside like this.
I am told that one can often find clay dolls or earthen ware in the dirt below these cliffs. Perhaps I will get lucky and discover evidence of an ancient village.
We will see!
Life is good in Ecuador!