Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lynch Canyon

This isn't really gardening related but after seeing the snow in the Midwest on the TV, I thought maybe someone out there would appreciate Spring in California.
I picked up a copy of Sunset magazine last week and it had a quick blurb about "Lynch Canyon", a 1,039 acre open space that was slated to become a land-fill in the 1980's, but was instead purchased by Solano County and Solano Land Trust. I looked at the map and realized these are the hills right across from the nursery. The hills I have seen, and yet ignored, nearly every day for most of my life, as I grew up in American Canyon.

What intrigued me about them most was the fact that I had never been there, or really thought about going there before...I didn't even know you could. We Californians have all these hills. Usually brown, dry hills with (maybe) a few oaks on them. We drive through them, over them, around them....but never really walk them. The places where I go for some 'nature time' usually involve redwoods, or rivers, or the least some manzanitas and madrone...something besides these hills.

It said in the article it was wildflower friend Mel said not yet.

She was right. But Look! I found this one. I should have put a penny next to it so you could see the size.

Here are a couple of lone mustard's. Living in Napa, where it seems every empty field and certainly every vineyard, is GLOWING with these little yellow fellows right now...well we weren't super impressed but still....there they are!

And then this thistle, growing up from a cow patty. (I stepped in a fresh one later, and boy was that funny!) (ha ha, kids...) At least I had on my plastic Sloggers!

After a bit, a familiar smell came to me and I glanced around for the Coyote Brush (Baccharis). I found some growing on the other side of a cattle fence. Whenever I show this plant to a customer at the nursery I always tell them this plant, to me, smells like California. I associate this strong odor with hiking in the scrub. But, does it ever look good? It never really looks good in the wild, I is in the wild so I suppose it looks perfectly fine, but does it look better grown in a more caring environment? Or is it a picky native who just up and dies if you dare to care? I must investigate this more. (BTW, I show the plant occasionally, almost never sell it unless a design calls for the low one on a hill or something).

A brisk wind came up and the kids ran.....and ran....All of a sudden the mighty roar of Hwy 80, that flows all the way to the other side of the continent, ceased. We could hear songbirds, crickets and a few frogs.

Eventually we realized we didnt know which trail we were on, and I sized up the hill as 'pretty darn big to go all the way around', at least with all these little guys and at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. So we headed back....

Back towards our waiting car and Hwy 80...

Being the baby in a large family can be tough at times, but it has its benefits too...

When we got back to our car we met the nicest ranger guy! He told us about the history of the canyon, about how Indian artifacts that were found there pointed to many hardwoods on the hills at one time, before General Vallejo. He also pointed out the other trail...the one that follows a creek, with trees and plants and nice views etc....oh well! Now we have to go back! Its a shame that the parks budgets are cut back so bad. Actually running into a live ranger (as opposed to the iron ranger where you drop your money in if your honest)is rare.

Every parent knows, one of the nicest benefits of some good hard play!

And lastly, as we were back in town....near the new Super(?)Big Box O'Crud we saw these Lupines and mustard....wildflowers!


Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Hi Tina,

What a nice tour. Thank you for taking us along. We don't have any green in OK yet, but the weather is supposed to be lovely for the next few days.~~Dee

gintoino said...

Nice walk! Aren't those wild flowers lovelly?

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