From the monthly archives:

May 2009

Individuality & Flowers

by Lorraine on May 8, 2009

” Wildflowers are neither vain nor haughty, neither jealous nor servile.   Living in accord with their unique mission, characterizing the Buddhist principle of the equality of cherry, peach, plum and damson blossoms, they neither envy other flowers nor belittle themselves.

They take pride in their individuality, knowing that each is a flower with a bloom like no other. Even the prettiest and most delicate wildflowers are by no means weak.

Thay may seem fragile, but they are strong, unperturbed by rain or wind.”

Daisaku Ikeda

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Lions Canyon III

by Lorraine on May 7, 2009

I thought that I would finally complete this story today, as I’ve been very busy with other things going on and couldn’t seem to get back to this.   And of course, there is always something to say about my native plant garden, too.   But that will have to wait.

After completing the re-route, we gathered up our gear and started to head back out over the same portion of the trail that we used coming into the site.   The day was very beautiful and I lagged a bit because I wanted to take photos of the many plants that had started blooming.  

I already mentioned in a previous post,  how many Yuccas were sending out their buds and I’m guessing that since I saw them, they may have started to flower.   Here is another photo of one, otherwise known as Hesperoyucca whipplei.

Here is a photo looking towards the east, as the trail  climbs slightly, before it gently descends toward Lions Creek down below.

As we were returning along the trail, I happened to notice a number of  Dudleya’s on a steep slope that somehow I managed to miss on the way up.   It was difficult to get very close to them, as they were clustered along an incline that was not only steep, but covered in loose scree.  But I clamored up the slope to get closer and took several photos. 

There were many spots along the trail that had bunches of Indian Paint Brushes (Castiilleja), Chia and also some Blue Dicks, otherwise known at  Wild Hyacinth.   They grow on very long, delicate stems and I couldn’t get a good photo any of them because the kept swaying in the breeze.   But here is another one of the Indian Paint Brushes.

We continued down the trail, crossing the stream several times on our way to the trailhead.  We all felt tired but satisfied with getting the job done and we  were looking forward to sharing some cold drinks and cookies with one another as we loaded up the trucks for the drive back to Ojai.  And in closing, here is a lovely photo to end the day.


Lions Canyon III

by Lorraine on May 2, 2009

After crossing the creek we made out way onto the connector trail that eventually took us to where the sinkhole was located.   The stream was shallow as we crossed over it but the rocks were slippery, making for careful placement of each foot, otherwise you were going to get your socks wet!

A gentle incline heading west would take us to our destination for our project.   But along the way there was too much for me to see and photograph, so I fell behind the group as they continued up the trail.   It was such a beautiful day and it seemed to me that there were many plants blooming or getting ready to do so and I found myself daudling along the path and enjoying the view.   Here is a scene along the trail.

On the left side, you can see several Yucca bushes and there were many scattered through this little draw, all with huge long buds, growing out from the center of each plant.   They looked bizarre and (yes, I know), a bit phallic, ha ha… but they were incredible and I’d love to go back sometime this month and see if they have launched their blooms.

In this same area, there were swaths of small yellow flowers that looked like daisys but I have to confess, I don’t know what they were and believe it or not, I didn’t have my book on identifying Spring annuals with me.  So, I’m a bit in the dark as to what they are but they certainly looked pretty.

I caught up with the rest of the group and we began the re-route of the trail.   This involved using a chain saw to cut through the dense brush and open a path for a new section of trail.   And for those of you, wondering about the legality of this, we had Forest Service permission to to it and as a matter of fact, an off-duty Forest Service employee, Heidi Anderson was along for the day as a “volunteer”.

We were all wondering if Heidi would find it “difficult” not to give us directions…but she managed to keep pretty quiet which is unusual for her!   Just kidding….

The rest of the day was pulling the cut brush, caching it, digging up stumps, moving rocks and creating new tread on the trail.   We were all surprised to find that we actually accomplished the entire project in one day, as we were expecting it to take longer.

The next post will have additional photos as we hiked out of the canyon and returned to the trailhead.   And no, I didn’t think about taking a picture of the sinkhole but I wish that I had taken one of our intrepid and hardworking group of volunteers.

It was a completely satisfying day not only from the standpoint of accomplishing the project but knowing that we contributed to the experience that people will have, as they use trail to enjoy the wilderness.