Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:

I’ve taken a long walk every day since lockdown, staying close to my Pasadena neighborhood. Last week, though, I had a dentist appointment in Glendale. And afterwards, I stopped at a place I’ve had in mind for months.

I entered the enchanted realm of the Deukmejian Wilderness.

“The Wilderness Park,” runs the official description, “occupies a rugged 709-acre site in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains at the northernmost extremity of the City of Glendale. The park is predominantly chaparral and sage scrub, but includes secluded streamside woodlands and scattered remnants of big-cone spruce woodland in Dunsmore and Cook’s Canyons. Trails on the site provide spectacular views of the Crescenta Valley and the Los Angeles basin.”

The Park Center area includes the parking lot, the Glendale Park Ranger Station and the historic Le Mesnager Barn. George Le Mesnager was a French emigrant, LA entrepreneur and winegrower who built the beautiful stone barn, used as a stable and for grape storage, till Prohibition put the kibosh on the wine industry.

A 1933 fire, followed by rain-season flooding, culminated in construction of the adjacent dam and debris basin.




  1. Regina Pavone says: Reply

    Hi Heather, you asked if anyone still reads. Yes! Travel, memoir, poetry, novels have also “sustained me all my life”,along with old movies and lots of different music. Getting out in nature at least once a week keeps me breathing. As does my faith. You won’t, however, find me on any social media. I’ve been reading your books, articles and blogs for years and have always considered you to be a kind of soul mate. I just wanted to reach out this time to let you know that there is someone who thinks as you do. Thanks for writing!

  2. Mary Ann Wiesinger-Puig says: Reply

    I also am a book lover. And a walk lover. And I think that, in a way, nature is God’s text. It is his message to us, if we have ears to hear. Stories of providence, life and death and resurrection, unexpected and hidden beauty…care. Great care for details. Have you noticed the care with which he designs each beautiful leaf? The tiniest flower? He is also sending us messages… Thanks for writing 🙂

  3. I too love nature – the smells, sounds, visual beauty. I love to garden and listen to the bird sounds in the early morning. The birds bring me such joy in their business. Thanks for always sharing your photos.

  4. HEATHER KING says: Reply

    Oh thank you dear women! I took a day off yesterday literally except for a long afternoon walk to lie in bed with my books and fan and to rest. The parable of the sower today: we have to take care lest worldly anxieties and the lure of riches derail us from Christ…as a writer, I struggle with discerning the distinction between keeping my eyes o the Master’s hands so to speak and hiding my light under a bushel…so much of what passes for Catholicism is either ideology or instagrammable utterly worldly lives of wealth, power, success, strength, popularity, high numbers and purported perfection with a Catholic hashtag thrown on top…how to remember none of that is any of my business and to continue to steer my own course as to my work, and how and when to share it. Always it’s in silence and solitude, and for me with books, art and as you have all emphasized, our connection with nature, that I come back to True North. Always I’m struck by how closely Christ studied the natural world and how many of his parables had to do with seeds, leaves, mountains, water, trees…and then I can once again be of good cheer…for He has overcome the world…

  5. Ron Lewberg says: Reply