Murky and mossy, slow-flowing summertime creek.
With the southern Los Padres National Forest currently undergoing its characteristic seasonal broil, and being too brutally hot and dry for hiking many miles, there are a few cooler, less visited nooks I like to retreat to.
While most of the rest of the forest at this time of year can seem eerily quiet and largely devoid of life other than plants, bothersome flies and ticks, this place here is teeming with creatures large and small.
Dead mountain lion in the mouth of a shallow cave beside the creek.
A decent sized native southern steelhead, an endangered species, swimming several feet below the surface, as seen from atop a boulder overlooking the creek.