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Rondia has seen the occasional Giant Chain Fern ( Woodwardia fimbriata) hidden along a creek but she'd never found herself in a forest of them until we visited Arroyo Hondo Preserve on the Gaviota Coast. Just one of the special features of this unique habitat.
(Corrected) August 2017 Newsletter
Coming Events
Hollister Meadow at Arroyo Hondo Preserve. Photo: James Wapotich
Arroyo Hondo Herb Walk
Smoke from the Whittier Fire stifled our attempt to visit Arroyo Hondo Preserve in July so I've rescheduled it for Saturday, August 19.

I was introduced to this beautiful coastal location north of Santa Barbara by writer and hiking guide James Wapotich who says “Arroyo Hondo is considered by many to be the jewel of the Gaviota Coast."

The Preserve is managed by The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County. and features a year-round creek surrounded by coastal chaparral and grassland. There is a great deal of plant diveristy to be seen on a short hike.

Read more and sign up here.
Are you on facebook? Visit and "like" my HerbWalks page for more updates and photos.
The "big sky country" on top of Pine Mountain. Photo: Lanny Kaufer
Fall Equinox Nature Hike on Pine Mountain
As the 41st year of Herb Walks winds down, I will lead my 5th annual Fall Equinox Nature Hike in the peaceful Mixed Conifer Forest on Pine Mountain (elevation: 7000 feet) at the time of year when the pine nuts are dropping.

According to Craig Carey, author of Hiking and Backpacking Santa Barbara and Ventura, the Reyes Peak Trail along the northern slope of the peak is “quite simply one of the most beautiful stretches in the southern Los Padres.”

Find out why for yourself on Saturday, September 23. Read more and sign up here.
Here's the latest addition to the Herb Walks store
I was fortunate to attend a California Native Plant Society talk late last year and met the speaker, Greg Rubin, who is the author of this wonderful book. If you're ready to buy your first book on native plant gardening or want to add the best of the new crop to your collection, I highly recommend this one, which is why I added it to the Herb Walks bookstore. Read more and order one here.
Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk in Bruce's backyard wildlife corridor. Photo: Bruce Vincent. (with apologies to Bruce and thanks to wildlife biologist Mark Mendelsohn for pointing out my error in the original version of this newsletter.)
Notes of a Naturalist
My friend and favorite Ojai naturalist, Bruce Vincent, publishes a highly informative and entertaining blog about local birds, wildlife, and natural history in general on his aptly named website, Ojai Naturalist. He's also a professional photographer which makes his posts just that much better. Here's a link straight to Notes of a Naturalist.
Back in early July before the Whittier Fire caused the cancellation of the Arroyo Hondo Herb Walk (now rescheduled for August 19), I wrote these prophetic words in this column: "Although I might send out a card announcing fall events, there will not be an August newsletter nor any Herb Walks events in August."

That was the plan. I knew I would be busy co-producing the 24th Bowlful of Blues, coming to Ojai's Libbey Bowl on Saturday, September 16. Since I was determined to make it to Arroyo Hondo, here's the August newsletter after all.

And since I'm sending it out, I might as well remind you to get your tickets and join me for the funnest festival of all!
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