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September 29, 2017

Tecolote Canyon - revisiting the central canyon

Last week we hiked through our favorite section at the bottom of Tecolote Canyon.  While we were in Ohio over the summer a great deal of work was being performed to restore habitat and open more trails.  That post can be found HERE

That raised our curiosity as to how far that work had progressed and if the ‘soon’ to be available new maps would have updates for the central Tecolote Canyon.  The trail begins well shaded and by the cuttings along the sides of the trail it is obvious that some trail maintenance has been performed.
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These majestic old coastal oaks are one of my favorite sections.  I think scenes for Harry Potter could be filmed in the clearings beneath. 
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Oops the trail improvements all too soon come to a gully where some serious erosion has erased the trail.  Taking advantage of a little downhill momentum I’m up the other side.  However, Fran thinks I might have forgot something …
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Shortly after this crossing we find that there is habitat restoration at this end of the canyon also.  And a new bridge for the project.  I suspect the gully we had to negotiate will have a bridge also ‘soon’.
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Ah so this is what is going on – Habitat West has been contracted to restore native vegetation within Tecolote Canyon.  Our only native palm tree is the California Fan Palm.  Although I support the project in principle there are aspects I really dislike.  Those tall Mexican Palms are among my favorites, but are not native and Habitat West web page shows the use of a helicopter to assist in removing them on their Featured Projects page.  My other main complaint is datura (jimsonweed) is native.  It smells like peanut butter, but is highly toxic and restoration teams do not just leave it alone but plant it in the restoration projects.
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I was not impressed with the spray can art last week, but this exhibit needs help.  Back-in-the-day the frog pond was not there and we could ride our bicycles underneath Balboa Ave through this storm drain.  But now we have to climb over it.
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The Harvest International Market is across Balboa Ave.  This is a great place to buy produce with some very reasonable prices.  The gotcha is we now have to walk back with our purchases, which consisted of a lot more than the mushrooms we came to get!
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Tecolote is a nice canyon with a bit of variety.  And check out those fall colors! The poison oak is turning crimson, it's pretty huh?

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Please note that it is not just the datura and poison oak but this year there is a much increased Hepaitas A outbreak found in the some of the canyons.  To ensure a clean Mission Bay we do need to have a clean watershed, and I do volunteer on the cleanups when I can.

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