Wild thistle..Watercolor by Hudley
Saying goodbye to my family home that I was born to and grew up in is difficult. Seeing Coyote Hill as one of the last hills not to be claimed by a house is rewarding and comforting to me.
On top of Coyote Hill one can almost see the whole San Fernando Valley. It is close to a 360-degree view.
The Verdugo Mountains, Warner Center, turning, Canoga Park, turning, Topanga Canyon, turning, the Santa Monica Mountains, turning and then back to Woodland Hills; then to the house where I grew up.
Climbing to the top of Coyote Hill was a natural workout depending on the time of year. In summer and autumn, it is mostly dry dirt. During winter towards spring the hill had all sorts of wild weeds, flowers, and herbs. My favorite time is when the tall green grass and the purple lupine grew. The worst time is the beautiful but dangerous wild purple thistle that tore up your legs or the fox tails that got caught in my socks.
How many times did I climb Coyote Hill to get away to the place where silence was reachable? I followed the peaceful breeze and experienced the free and wonderful cool blowing sounds of life.
Silence is a more peaceful feeling inside than the absence of sound. Coyote Hill supplied all the silence a growing child needed!
While walking or driving by in-car or on my bike, I have watched a few wild coyotes take the path up this hill. Once on the very tip-top one turned to look at me.
My mom’s dreams come true.
She told us about the dreams she had where houses would be built up all around our home. Houses cover the hills now, but not Coyote Hill. As kids, my friends and I would tear down the realtor for sale signs to stop the builders. We could not stop them.
In my dreams I see a big gazebo on Coyote Hill. A path climbs up to it and a path down the other side. It is a free place for anyone to experience wild silence. In my dream I interfere with the natural cycle and plant some native California plants mixed with lots of lavender, rosemary, and sage. I would also supply some sort of water source for the dry months of summer and autumn.
The Verdugo Mountains, image taken from my family home where I grew up.
“The Verdugo Mountains are a small, rugged mountain range of the Transverse Ranges system in Los Angeles County. Sometimes called “the Front Range,” the Verdugos are entirely surrounded by urban development. The Verdugo Mountains represent an isolated wildlife island.”