Great Hikes (and Camping): Wind Wolves Preserve

Great Hikes (and Camping): Wind Wolves Preserve

If you’re looking for a place in the southern half of California to hike or camp that features few people, running streams and waterfalls, and a wild land full of wildlife, head to Wind Wolves Preserve. As word gets out this place it won’t feel so remote very long.

Set aside by Wildlands Conservancy in 1996, photos from our recent June trip best illustrate its specialness. [Read more…]

Taking the Trail to Wildwood Canyon’s Hunt Ranch

Taking the Trail to Wildwood Canyon’s Hunt Ranch

Yesterday on a warm March day I went to Wildwood Canyon State Park in Yucaipa and took the short 2 mile roundtrip Water Canyon Trail to Hunt Ranch. If you’re looking for a mix of wildlife (particularly birds and butterflies) amidst mature California oak trees and a decaying but beautiful ranch and outbuildings — this is a good one. Hunt Ranch was the former Wildwood Lodge resort built in the 1920s that investors hoped to turn into a country club development. (more history at this website)

I wrote an earlier post on this under-appreciated state park, which gives an overview. [Read more…]

A Feel Good Bird Walk

A Feel Good Bird Walk

The daylight’s savings time change made it harder but I’m so glad I attended the Redlands Conservancy birdwatching event this morning at San Timoteo Nature Sanctuary (click here for previous article on  this special preserve in Redlands CA). Allyson Beckman, who helps monitor endangered species as a field biologist with the Santa Ana Watershed Association, shared her significant knowledge.  She’s also helped usher in a success story at the preserve with the endangered Least Bell’s Vireo, a small bird whose appearance is more gray than yellow in the West. Numbers tell it best: fifteen years ago a colleague of hers documented 5 males. Last year: 151.

Here are my takeaways from Beckman’s walking talk about the local and migrant birds found in San Timoteo Canyon. [Read more…]

The environmental costs of population growth

The environmental costs of population growth

Colleagues of mine, Marilyn Hempel, editor of the Population Press, and Monty Hempel, Chair of Environmental Studies at the University of Redlands, have just released two important items. The first is a film The Eighth Billion about the environmental costs of human population growth. It’s short – only 9 minutes – and contains gorgeous footage of landscapes and seascapes that are being irreversibly impacted by population growth. It illustrates sobering but important facts, such as how our population is adding 219,000 people every day – a billion people every 12-13 yeas. [Read more…]

Great Hikes: San Timoteo Nature Sanctuary

Great Hikes: San Timoteo Nature Sanctuary

If you’re looking for a trail with relatively flat terrain for walking, horseback-riding, or cycling, which offers a high chance of seeing wildlife along its creek or emerging from the hills, San Timoteo Nature Sanctuary might be your place. This undiscovered place in Redlands CA also offers a lot of solitude. [Read more…]

Our Backyard Brethren: Recent Wildcam Photos

Our Backyard Brethren: Recent Wildcam Photos

I took a hiatus with our Bushnell wildlife cameraOur Bushnell Trophy Trail Camera, but have put one up again the last couple months in 3 different places to track our wildlife visitors.  Thought I would post a few photos of what’s been in our yard, plus what’s been waking up my husband most early mornings as it goes through the gate next to our bedroom. [Read more…]

Great Hikes: Oak Glen Preserve for Fall Colors

Great Hikes: Oak Glen Preserve for Fall Colors

Fall in Southern California falls a little short for this Midwestern transplant. So a recent trip to The Wildlands Conservancy’s Oak Glen Preserve in Oak Glen CA, with its changing foliage of California box elders, sycamores and Kellogg oaks, made for one happy day. The fresh apple pie from Riley’s apple farm next door [Read more…]