Signs of Spring

Spring at Wilder Ranch, California. Via merchanthome.com

Today marks the official start of our first spring along the coastline of Santa Cruz county, where the hills are breaking into bloom following a near-record rainy season.  In celebration of this season of growth, color, and (finally) warm sunshine, my former colleague at terrain invited me to share a bit of our burgeoning California springtime with their audience (head here for more photos and a bit more backstory).  Happy for an excuse to spend a Friday morning exploring our new home, I set out with my camera, hiking books, and a hot chocolate from our local coffee stop. Here, sharing some outtakes and alternate images, taken at Wilder Ranch State Park, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and in the protected Santa Cruz Sandhills.

Spring at Wilder Ranch, California. Via merchanthome.com
Spring at Wilder Ranch, California. Via merchanthome.com
Bonny Doon, CA. Via merchanthome.com
Bonny Doon, CA. Via merchanthome.com
Spring in Santa Cruz, California. Via merchanthome.com
Spring at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, California. Via merchanthome.com
Spring at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, California. Via merchanthome.com
Spring at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, California. Via merchanthome.com

On top of finally having that feel of being settled, of having a home that fits us, what has been most grounding about moving to Santa Cruz has been our proximity to nature. Within a few miles of us, and each other, we can wander through an oak-filled valley, put our toes in the ocean, get lost in the moody redwoods, walk along a coastal bluff, visit a local farm to buy produce, or see the wildflowers in bloom. Save for snow and desert, it's like we have all of California right here in our backyard (quite literally).

With that: happy first day of spring! Make sure to get outside. And thanks to my friends at terrain for a project that got me out of unpacking and out into nature, where I am most at peace.

Photos by Alexandra Sklar for Merchant Home. Please credit and link back appropriately.