By Tommy Hough
Thanks to everyone who joined us for our hike along the mesa tops and wooded canyon bottoms of Del Mar Mesa Preserve this past Sunday.
Enjoy the photos of our trek collected here, courtesy of long-time San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action member Renée Owens, who won our first-ever Member of the Year award in 2017.
Now threatened directly and indirectly by the construction of an 11-story office building and related office park on land surrounded on three sides by areas managed for conservation, the Del Mar Mesa Preserve is one of the best-preserved specimens of natural San Diego habitat, and home to endangered vernal pools, rare lichens, an assortment of birds from along the Pacific Flyway, and what may be the largest surviving wild Coastal scrub oak in San Diego County. It's a special, quiet place – and surprisingly wild along the canyon bottom in the tunnels of oak trees.
Special thanks to Frank Landis from the San Diego chapter of the California Native Plant Society for leading the hike, founding club member and Torrey Hills Planning Board chair Kathryn Burton for her advocacy with Protect Our Preserves, club vice president Sara Kent for organizing the outing, and Sacramento attorney and California Democratic Party Progressive Caucus chair candidate Amar Shergill for joining us.
Renée also supplied a few brief captions for each photo, numbered 1 to 26, beginning with the photo of our members on the trail:
1. Kevin Lourens, Cara Furio and Kathryn Burton (L to R)
2. Allen's hummingbird and bottlebrush
3. Black sage
4. California towhee
8. Echo blue butterfly
9. Female California quail
10. Male California quail
11. Mimilus aurantiacus
14. Nutall snapdragon
15. Raptor nest in coastal scrub oak
16. San Diego button celery (very rare)
17. Scrub jay
18. Splendid mariposa lily
19. Splendid mariposa lily
20. Star lily
21. Torrey Highlands vicinity
22. White catchalagua
23. Wild hyacinth
24. Greater roadrunner
25. Red admiral butterfly
26. Less than impressive vernal pool interpretive sign
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