Sunday, November 6, 2016

Hiking "Coast to Cactus"

-from Anne C Morgan, Head Curator

Canyoneers Stacey and Rochelle with Ramses
As the weather cools and the season for enjoying the outdoors begins, thoughts turn towards hiking, camping, and exploring the wonderfully diverse region that is Southern California.  Yesterday 25 people came out to the Desert Museum for a book talk to get ready for the season.

San Diego Natural History Museum Canyoneers Rochelle Gaudette and Stacy Vielma came out to talk about hiking, some of their experiences out on the trails, and the new book written by Canyoneers and published by Sunbelt Publications Coast to Cactus The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors.  "The book is more than just another hiking guide" said Rochelle "it's like having a virtual Canyoneer with you when you can't join us on hikes."  The book looks at the range of habitats found in San Diego County and over 500 species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles and more that call the area home, as well as natural and cultural features you might find.

Frank & Lidia looking at plant samples
Visitors got to handle samples of local plants and try to identify them.  Some, like the brittle bush, were well known to locals, while other plants looked so similar that the group had to compare them closely before figuring out what was what.  Chamise, buckwheat, Lemonadeberry, Toyon and others were looked at not only for plant comparisons but also to explore what drought adaptations different plants had developed.

"There is no shortage of fun on our hikes" Stacey told the audience. "We encourage people to examine the world and learn about the ecosystems." Whether you are joining the Canyoneer hikes or going out with your own group there are endless things to discover about the natural world around us, from the coast to the desert.
Coast to Cactus book supplements hiking, & San Diego Natural History Museum exhibit

Coast to Cactus exhibit at NAT

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