August Hike with Jan, Felsman Loop

I was joined by four hikers at 7:00 am on a foggy Saturday morning. Two were locals and two were from the Bay Area.  All were enthusiastic hikers.  We set off for the the Felsman Loop.  It’s a trail with moderate elevation gains and a distance of about 2.7 miles.  Lucky for us we had a botanist who was also well-versed in critters, too.  We had a nice easy hike with many stops to investigate some very large beetles and pill bugs that were leaving interesting tracks on the trail.  Ants were busy harvesting seeds and carrying them back to the nest.  Mountain mahogany tails were putting on a display.  The highlight of the day was fishing for spiders!  We found several spider holes in the trail that had a thin layer of web at the entrance to trap unsuspecting creatures.  We stuck a grass stem down the hole and the spider grabbed it.  We all jumped and laughed at the same time! Jan...

July Hike with Jan – Reservoir Canyon

I met up with two enthusiastic hikers for an early 7:00 am start up Reservoir Canyon on Saturday, July 16.  It was a bit foggy when we started.  By the time we got to the eucalyptus trees the fog had cleared on the east side of the canyon.  Great views of East Cuesta Ridge!  I am sad to report the swing needs some work.  Looks like one of the ropes broke.  We got to the top with a few “catch our breath” breaks.  Once on the top we discovered the fog was still thick over San Luis.  No spectacular views, but we did enjoy a little break at the stone circle seat.  On the way down we were on trash duty.  Finding toilet paper, bagged doggie poop, and more, we want to remind folks to use the “pack it in pack it out” method – whatever you bring into our beautiful open spaces, be sure to take it out....

April Hike with Jan – Felsman Loop

We had a very fun and educational hike on the Felsman Loop on Sunday, April 10.  New docent Dale brought one of my favorite plant ID books, Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo, CA, edited by David J. Keil, PH.D.  Also along were two others who had a great interest in learning more about the flora of the area.  We started our hike at 9:00, cool and overcast.  We saw one of the few things we couldn’t identify at the beginning of our hike.  A medium-large, big, fat grayish-brown bird.  The rest of the trip was more successful in identifying plants, trees and shrubs.  A total of 54!  Dale had his book open for most of the 2.5 mile hike.  We stopped so many times to identify plants we were gone for three hours.  It was very warm and sunny by the time we returned. I think my favorite plant find was skull cap.  A very well-behaved little plant with small purple flowers.  We had one more bird that stumped us on the way down.  I looked it up when I got home and found we were observing a Spotted Towhee.  A very beautiful and distinctive bird.  All in all, another great day out on the trail with good companions! Photo 1 is us looking at cows playing on the hillside.  Photo 2 is us looking at a vernal pond at the base of Bishop Peak. ~Jan...
June 28th, 2015 – Lemon Grove on Cerro San Luis

June 28th, 2015 – Lemon Grove on Cerro San Luis

Summer is here and the time to hike is earlier in the morning!  So with that in mind, four hikers joined me, Slow in SLO with Jan, at 8:00 in the morning for the loop hike to the Lemon Grove on Cerro San Luis.  It was nice and foggy and cool when we started.  Four humans and one elderly dog.  In dog-years, the dog was still the oldest of our group.  As we started up the hill we noticed two things, the Peruvian Pepper trees that were planted long ago, and bags of dog poop that we hoped were going to be picked up by the dog owners when they came back down the hill!  We stayed on the main trail and went up instead of taking the loop trail to the right.  Good thing we went that way because a fifth hiker caught up with us. We all enjoyed the views of the friendly, best, most wonderful, etc., city as we made our way uphill with about a 400 foot elevation gain.  The fog burned off as we opened a gate and walked into the old lemon grove.  The Lemon Grove was replanted with 20 young lemon trees in 2014.  They are caged to protect them from browsing critters and watered via the original spring.  We hiked up to the spring and were pleased to see the water was still flowing.  Not much, but it isn’t dry.  There are still three of the original trees left.  Two of them had fruit on them.  It’s nice to see an historical site like this being restored.  Is a gazebo in...
Slow in SLO with Jan up Stenner Creek

Slow in SLO with Jan up Stenner Creek

A small but lively group met up for a, “Slow in SLO”, hike with Jan up Stenner Creek on Saturday May 30.  After opening and closing two gates by the ranch house we were on our way up the creek, no paddle needed!  The day was beautiful and warm and clear.  The hike from the parking area is about 1 1/2 miles of gentle uphill.  We walked through golden hills, oak and bay trees, lots of star thistle and the interesting gum flower.  Stenner Creek and most of the other small springs were flowing.  After opening more gates and crossing the railroad tracks we veered left and passed by a lovely, small waterfall.  It’s so nice to hear tumbling water in this time of drought!  Hiker Marv is an old hand at trail work up Stenner Springs.  He was able to educate us about all the new trails for recreational bike riders.  It is very impressive.  The hard work and engineering that has gone into the area will provide much fun and excitement for skilled trail riders.  We decided to go a bit further beyond the Eucs to find the beginning of on older water pipeline that was tunneled under the mountains.  Again, Marv was able to tell us about many of the water pipelines that originate on the other side of the west Cuesta ridge and provide water to the SLO and Morro Bay areas.  Back down the hill at a leisurely pace with more good conversations with a great group of people.              ...