Tuesday, August 20, 2013

In which we climb the hill of calabazilla and see our house

For years from our yard we've been able to see this peak with a scar on it. The scar is getting bigger each year. You can just make out a bush of some sort almost at the top on the left of the scar.

I became determined to go and see it. But where is it? Eventually, using the tens of millions of dollars worth of information and software in Google Maps and Google Earth, we identified it as a dog-walking trail in Laguna Niguel called Colinas Ridge Trail.

You can drive to the back of it, which is more inside civilization than it looks, and park around 300 feet above sea level. Even though the top of the hill is only 704 feet above sea level, it was quite a climb.

You can see the bush (near top left) - in fact it's an Elderberry.

So, in there is our house from the scar.  Can't see my house?

Here, inside the red circle near the center.

The scar itself is either a small path or a misguided fire break that took off the vegetation near the top of the hill. Erosion is wearing wider and deeper gullies into the silty ground. Lower down there's quite a lot of desperate sandbagging going on, a bit of rip-rap and (unrelatedly) what appears to be the world's biggest Scotch Thistle killing operation - acres upon acres of dead thistles. Warning to whoever is doing the invasive species clear out - about one in a couple of hundred had a new green center!

I was wearing Warp Factor 30 sunscreen (of the organic, non-chemical containing titanium oxide kind) but it was still a bit daft to do the climb at 1pm in August. Still nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Edit: the paddy melon type gourds carpeting the hillside are calabazilla - Cucurbita foetidissima

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