Chula Vista, CA
February 9, 2015
This beautiful stretch of more than 2000 acres know as Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is located within the city limits of San Diego in the coastal neighborhood of La Jolla. When visiting here, it is easy to imagine how California must have looked to settlers many years ago. The reserve encompasses the rare Torrey Pine, unspoiled beaches, and a lagoon that is vital to migrating birds.
Because groves of trees were not common along the southern California coast, early Spanish explorers (1500-1700) referred to this area as Punto do Los Arboles which means "Point of Trees". In 1850, the year California became a state, the tree was officially discovered by Dr. Charles Parry ( a medical doctor with an interest in botany) who was doing a survey to determine boundaries between Mexico and California. Dr. Parry named these trees for his friend Dr. John Torrey.
|The fog was thick!|
Hiking was on our agenda for the day. Can you just imagine how excited we were? We haven't been on a hike since July! When we headed out about 9:00, the sun was shining and the skies were blue. The closer we got to La Jolla, the cloudier and foggier it got! We were expecting to see spectacular views of the ocean from the look-outs. "Turn around" was never mentioned as we finally parked along the street with very little visibility in front of us. So, most of the pictures in tonight's post look like black and white photographs with some beautiful spots of color thrown in.
The first part of the hike was along the rode leading to the top where the Visitor's Center is. About half way up, we turned right and followed the Guy Fleming Loop Trail.
According to the kiosk, the cones at the top of the Torrey Pine are the female, seed bearing cones and take 3-5 years to mature...
In January and February, these small pollen filled male cones form on the lower branches.
Also, the needles have an important job...they collect fog droplets in their deep groves and channels them to the ground so that moisture is not lost to evaporation.
We saw these strange looking things as we hiked and then came upon this sign that explains they are Bark Beetle Traps.
A volunteer we stopped and chatted with said that 127 trees have died as a result of the beetle.
|California State Flower...California Poppy|
What a great day we had...until next time, take care and...