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April 03, 2016

San Diego’s Tecolote Canyon–North

In two previous blogs I have introduced the South and Central sections of Tecolote Canyon Nature Preserve.  But when I received this email from the Canyoneers, I was inspired to join.
Tecolote Canyon Natural Park
(N. Clairemont Park)

Sunday, April 3
8 AM - 11 AM
This is an intermediate 4 mile walk with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.
Our trail takes us through Tecolote Canyon from Chateau Dr. to Balboa Ave. The Canyon provides a riparian habitat for many interesting native plants and animals.
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WOW that makes TWO hikes in one weekend!  Patato Chip Rock Friday and North Tecolote Sunday.  Getting old … Once I could do two hikes in a day!
The Canyoneers are a group of volunteers trained as naturalists to lead the hikes.  They are a public outreach of the San Diego Naural History Muesem (theNAT).  They are unusal in that they are all volunteers and not associated any a park.

Our guides today Laurie and Sam taking us down the steep approach to the canyon floor.
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In the morning dew these Funnel Spider holes are easily seen.  And these guys are BIG!, The looking back at me from the hole resembled a hairless taranchula.
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Once down to the creek the next obvious thing to notice are the abundance of 3-leaved bushes!  Yikes it’s Poisen Oak
“Leaves of three, beware of me”
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Just after reaching the canyon floor is this massive Brazilian Pepper tree that looks like it came from one of Harry Potter’s nightmares.
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It has been a foggy morning and dew clings to the buckwheat on the slopes and the yellow stands of mustard.  This brilliant green camphor tree stands at the entrance to the dense coastal oak forest.
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The oaks provide nice shade and entertainment with the odd twists and turns to their limbs.
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Although this is the narrowest section of the Tecolote Preserve, I’m sure there is a lot of wild life to bee seen.  On this day a red tailed hawk was looking for lunch.
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And crows were setting up housekeeping atop a Washington Palm
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And this little ‘blue belly’ aka ‘fence lizard’ was enjoying the warmth of Sam’s hands
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And the flowers?  Oh my yes – they were in bloom!  Take that Death Valley Super Bloom – and this right in my own back yard!
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The cactus were also in bloom.  On the left is a Pin Cushion version of Beaver Tail tail on the right.  See the difference?  NEVER touch the cushions!
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But the wild cucumber is already going to seed.
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The orange Witch’s Hair is a parasite common in the local canyons.
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The Canyoneer’s will have their review of this hike up in the San Diego Reader’s Roam-o-Rama section in a few days.

Leaving for a week in San Felipe BC early in the morning.

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