Chula Vista, CA
December 16, 2015
Torrey Pines Natural Reserve remains one of the "wildest" stretches of land on the Southern California coast. Over 2,000 acres of land "are as they were" before San Diego was developed. For information on this beauty, click here.
Yesterday, we took the 25 miles interstate drive to the reserve, another San Diego gem. In 1500-1700, the Spanish explorers referred to this area as Punto do Los Arboles which means Point of Trees.
According to my reading, Torrey pine trees are the rarest native pine trees in the United States. The trees along the coast are naturally pruned by the salty sea breeze and provide a beautiful canopy.
There is a two-way road in the reserve (north entrance) that travels up to the lodge-visitor center/museum. We walked! There is a "path" for pedestrians that parallels the road...a good workout going up!
I was impressed with the monthly bird count posted at the lodge. On the list, two peregrine falcons were seen in November. We saw one yesterday...as always, I could have kicked myself for not having the correct lens, but I was so excited...even with a fuzzy picture...that I had to share!
We took two side trails on our way up to the lodge. First was the Guy Fleming Trail.
In 1916, naturalist Guy Fleming led a city-wide campaign to protect the Torrey Pine trees which were being cut down for firewood and threatened by uncontrolled camping. In 1921, he became the park's first resident caretaker. During the next 10 years he developed trail systems, a plant nursery, and the lodge.
The trail is an easy loop that meanders out to a north overlook and a south overlook.
The large cones at the top of the tree are the female, seed-bearing cones. In January-February, the smaller male, pollen filled cones appear on the lower branches.
The most impressive plant we saw was Shaw's Agave.
|Coastal Barrel Cactus|
|Indian Fig...huge cactus, but very few pricklies|
We also spent time on the beach there. Its not a sandy beach, but rather a squishy pebbly one.
It was such a fun day. Until next time, let the good times roll...