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Monday, May 9, 2016

Climbing a mountain

I realize that climbing a mountain is still climbing a mountain whether there's a trail up it or not. By the time I get to where the work has left off, I'm exhausted. But as my sister pointed out, there's no point in going that far and then just working for a few minutes, so we put in 2 hours up there this morning. I do not think it's true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I'm sure not feeling stronger. To give you a better perspective, here are a few photos, marked as: (1) the destination where the relict population of Mexican Blue Oaks are, (2) the saddle we are currently working our way up to, (3) where we are currently working.

Once we get to the saddle, we will be cutting a ramp/uphill path into the side of a really steep slope, but I don't anticipate we will be having to do many steps. Right now it's almost one continuous staircase. And those steps kill my knees. But we figured switchbacks would destroy too much habitat. These mountains may look bare, but they're covered with vegetation. They just won't green up until summer monsoons arrive.

In the future, I'll post photos of what that steep slope really looks like up close. You may recall a photo I posted not too long ago of me perched up near the oaks. It's really impenetrable and we don't want to do hardly any "improvements" to it for fear of damaging the fragile ecosystem there.

I was delighted to discover a blooming Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja rigida) yesterday along my road. Since the horrible drought of 2011 they're quite scarce here.

And Barry Zimmer was kind enough to allow me to post the toad he photographed at CMO a few days ago. It's a W. Narrow-mouthed Toad.


  1. You are amazing. See you soon.

  2. Thanks! Other than my sister and I each needing a 2 hr nap this afternoon, we're good to go! My other sister will be back from a trip tomorrow so we should really make progress now.

  3. Climbing up and down Blue Oak Canyon was a bear but it was worth it for the male Ursine!