Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wilderness Gardens Preserve

On Monday John and I continued with our search of wilderness areas to explore.  The above mentioned park is still in San Diego County astride the San Luis Rey River.  It is quite a beautiful park, a valley surrounded by hills and mountains.  It has a combination of natural vegetation types, including oak woodland, riparian, chaparral, and coastal sage scrub.  Many bird species, including migratory birds are abundant here.  I found one curious looking bird scratching on the ground.  With a black head and neck he looked like a executioner with his black hood.  I discovered later that the bird was a spotted towhee.  I should have recognized him as I have met his cousin the eastern towhee back east at Walden Pond.
At wilderness gardens is the rock foundation of the 1881 Pala Grist Mill.  The wooden sections of it were removed to construct a home in the 1930s.  An interesting note on the mill is that grist stones were made in France, transported to St. Louis Mo. where the Sickler family was living.  They then brought the stones to California to build the mill.  From the park we drove to Palomar Mountain,  John wanted to see a conservatory which is located there.  Along the way we saw many roadside produce stands, primarily selling avocados, oranges and tangerines.  We soon saw the many of the orchards from which they were picked.
We have discovered in our travels that it is very wise to stop and purchase fruit and vegetables when we travel through areas like this, so we did stop at a fruit stand.  As is usually the case, the produce was inexpensive as well as delicious.  Other sights we saw along Highway 76 to the mountain were large casinos as well as resorts.  The territory is home for 6 different Native American reservations.
We arrived at the conservatory in late afternoon,  the conservatory was closed and gated.  We hiked in the area and noted that the ground in some spots was quite muddy.  A sign along the road noted that it is illegal to throw snowballs at cars.  So we figured that maybe recently there had probably been snow on the ground.  Coming down the mountain we were treated to some beautiful vistas as the sun was setting.  It bathed the mountains and surrounding countryside in striking hues of orange, pink and yellow.

No comments:

Post a Comment