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May 2021 HerbWalks & OjaiHerbal Newsletter
We'll start here on the Ojai Valley Trail in Libbey Park on Sunday, May 16, for the third of six Ojai Urban Herb Walks in April, May and June. Click on the photo above or this link to read more and sign up for the May 16 walk. Photo: Lanny Kaufer
Can you look at this photo without wanting to be there at 3700 ft. with the Bigcone Douglas-Firs and Incense-Cedar? I know I can't. So if you're like me, please join me on Saturday, May 22. Click on the photo or this link to learn more. Photo: Lanny Kaufer
You can look east. You can look west. Either way it's a scenic moment you won't soon forget. Click on the photo or this link to learn more about the next Supermoon Sunset Nature Hike on Tuesday, May 25. Photo: Carol MaHarry
Herb Walks
A large pre-pandemic group on a medicinal plant walk in the Chumash Garden at the Ojai Valley Museum. Photo: Enrique Villaseñor
Ojai Urban Herb Walks
These Sunday Herb Walks in downtown Ojai are a hit so we're doing some more. On May 16 and June 13 we'll visit historic Libbey Park. On May 30 we'll tour the Chumash Garden at the Ojai Valley Museum and on June 27 we'll go to Cluff Vista Park. All these places are easy walks and wheelchair-accessible.
Read more about the new series at this link or sign up for individual walks in the Herb Walks Events schedule above.
Other Local
My COVID-19 Prevention Protocol
Until further notice from the County of Ventura, Herb Walks will continue to stay safe for all participants by meeting outdoors in small groups, checking temperatures, wearing face coverings, and maintaining safe distances. Photo: Enrique Villaseñor
Here we are at the mouth of Potrero John Creek about to enter the Sespe Wilderness. Photo: Enrique Villaseñor
Potrero John is calling and I can't resist
Are you ready to get away from it all for a day? Join me Saturday, May 22, for a nature hike on Potrero John Creek, deep in the Sespe Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest. Beginning at 9 a.m., a 20-mile car caravan will take us from Ojai to the trailhead. We'll return to Ojai by 3 p.m. Starting our hike at an elevation of 3700 feet, we’ll meet a diverse group of plants representing the chaparral and riparian woodland plant communities of the Southern California mountains. Read more and register at this link.
Artwork: Pacha Maia (
"Relatives with Roots" free for children ages 8-11
The Ojai Valley Green Coalition is offering local Ojai kids ages 8-11 an innovative new program called "Relatives with Roots: Arts & Education in the Natural World." I'm honored to be one of the presenters along with Chumash elder Julie Tumamait-Stenslie and artist Vera Long. The program is free of charge, thanks to several grants, including an arts grant from the City of Ojai. There are four sessions to choose from beginning June 5, each consisting of two consecutive Saturday classes from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. at Cluff Vista Park in downtown Ojai. Click on the image above or this link to learn more and register your child.
Pine Mountain's Jeffrey Pines and Chaparral. Photo: Bryant Baker
Over 99.9% of Public Comments Oppose Pine Mountain Project
Just a handful of the approximately 16,000 public comments received last year by the Forest Service supported its proposal to log on Pine Mountain, according to a recent analysis by Los Padres ForestWatch of records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. LPFW turned up just five letters in favor of the project! Read the article at this link.
Lower Rose Valley Lake. Photo: U. S. Forest Service
Rose Valley Creek Watershed Restoration Project

U. S. Forest Service officials will convene a public workshop from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Thursday, May 13, to discuss and develop options as part of a proposed Rose Valley Creek watershed restoration project.


The purpose of the project is to remove non-native invasive species and improve habitat for native species within the watershed. Click on this link or the image above to learn more.

Supermoon rising over Sulphur Mountain. Photo: Joe P. Powers
Supermoon Sunset Nature Hike May 25
On Tuesday evening, May 25, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., I’ll lead a Supermoon Sunset Nature Hike above the Ojai Valley where we can watch the moonrise and sunset. The full supermoon will appear on the eastern horizon at about 7:45 p.m. and the sun will set in the west at about the same time, giving us a perfect window to take it all in at once. The moon will reach complete fullness at 4:13 a.m. on Wednesday morning, making Tuesday night the best time to see it.
Read more and sign up at this link.
My first book is due to be published by Falcon Guides on November 1. Cover photo of white sage by Jess Starwood
Pre-order Medicinal Herbs of California now on my website
I'm pleased to announce the publication by Falcon Guides of my first book, Medicinal Herbs of California: A Field Guide to Common Healing Plants. It's the first-of-its-kind statewide field guide to more than 70 common medicinal plants of California. The book includes principles of herbal remedies, history and roots in native cultures, current scientific information, and how to find and incorporate medicinal plants into daily life. 
The book features 200 color photos for positive identifcation and about the same number of citations to references supporting the scientific information for those who wish to dig deeper.
It's available for pre-order now on my website at this link. If you decide to buy one now or at some point in the future, I would greatly appreciate you purchasing from me rather than from Amazon or other online retailers.
Click on the USFS logo above to visit the Ojai Ranger District webpage for the latest info on trails, campgrounds, winter road closures and more. Good news! Pine Mountain Road to the Reyes Peak Trail is open again after winter closure. We're going back up there on June 19. See the Herb Walks Events schedule for details.
I recently discovered and edited this article from the Los Angeles Herald of April 25, 1897. The medicinal information on several plants we see on our outings is remarkably accurate. Click on the image or this link to read it. If you're on a phone, click on < on the left of the article to "Show info pane" for the edited text.
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