Great Hikes: ‘Wild’ Wildwood Canyon State Park

Great Hikes: ‘Wild’ Wildwood Canyon State Park

I discovered another great, secluded hiking area in the inland area  - Wildwood Canyon State Park –  tucked away off Wildwood Canyon Road in Yucaipa, California. In another example of the importance of land conservation [Read more...]

Alaska’s Nature Speaks Loudly

Alaska’s Nature Speaks Loudly

Nature was very talkative on our Alaska trip. We spent 8 days on the Kenai peninsula visiting friends who live in Seward and then exploring on our own during a trip to Homer on the other side of the peninsula. We were reminded how Alaska is a perfect trip for nature lovers or others wanting a quick and bountiful immersion course.

Some photos:

[Read more...]

Great Hikes: Steep but Satisfying Frankish Peak (Upland CA)

Great Hikes: Steep but Satisfying Frankish Peak (Upland CA)

Note: I’ve started a new category “Great Hikes” which features especially good hiking experiences in native habitat and wildlife  (for now in Southern CA.)

I tend to prefer hikes where I have the place to myself. Frankish Peak north of Upland CA satisfies that need, and a recent May late afternoon hike resulted in zero fellow hikers but multiple wildlife sightings amidst beautiful scenery. It’s very steep however, rising 1900 feet in 2 miles, so keep that in mind. (it’s also why there are so few people…)  Highlights: the hilltop effect of mating butterflies, [Read more...]

Let’s Not Expand Wildlife Killing on Public Lands

Let’s Not Expand Wildlife Killing on Public Lands

The purpose of my blog is not to be a political activist; however, this notice about a federal bill (which has passed the House) to expand wildlife killing is something that people should know about. If this passes, more public lands including National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges will be open to recreational hunting, and the EPA’s role in the poisons used will be weakened.  Below is an edited notice sent by Project Coyote, an organization I’ve written about (one earlier blog) that works on solutions for wildlife-human coexistence. If you can take a moment and email or call your two senators…. (it only took me 3 minutes to use the link below and call)  or pass this on.
Great hikes:  Desert Wildflowers (& why to support conservation efforts)

Great hikes: Desert Wildflowers (& why to support conservation efforts)

Wow. Yesterday I wanted to go for a hike and headed to the Whitewater Preserve close to Palm Springs. The Whitewater River flows into dammed pools of water, which became a trout fishery for many years, but no hiking into the canyon was permitted. That is, until the Wildands Conservancy was able to buy it, saving it from becoming a housing development. The Pacific Crest Trail weaves through it and I hiked a portion of it yesterday – with no expectations of the beautiful scenery and wildflowers galore.  [Read more...]

Ahh, the Beauty of Mature Chaparral

Ahh, the Beauty of Mature Chaparral

My husband Tom, and I were amazed with the mature stands of chaparral on a hike we took last week – the Mishe Mokwa trail in the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area. I think the photos below illustrate how short-sighted the belief is that chaparral is meant to burn. Chaparral does just great when it’s left to do its thing. We estimate that the chaparral on this hike was at least 30 years old, possible older. [Read more...]

Helping Ourselves through Conservation

Helping Ourselves through Conservation

I heard an amazing speaker last month here in Redlands CA – Peter Raven – a world leader in conservation who TIME Magazine has described as a “Hero for the Planet.” Awarded the highest U.S. award for scientific accomplishment (Medal of Science), Raven is the long-time president of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, oldest botanical garden in the U.S., a former Stanford University professor renowned in botany. [Read more...]