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Green Chaparral

Morning walk with Toni on the Miner’s Ridge Loop at Black Mountain Open Space Park. The trail winds through the dense chaparral on the north facing slopes of Black Mountain, sometimes steep. Morning fog makes for a pleasant walk, even in June.

Knowing about the wealth of life, the diversity, the multitude of organisms that live in this increasingly rare and precious habitat makes it so much more interesting – I’m growing increasingly fond of these “simple” views of it. Just green, chaparral covered slopes. It is mostly impassable to humans – if it weren’t for the hiking trails that both intrude and allow us to appreciate the place at the same time.

And it strikes me as odd that this wealth of plants is often referred to as “brush”, or even worse, as “fuel” for wildfires. It’s not fuel – it’s Southern California’s native vegetation. It’s home to plants and animals that we love and adore. And it needs more appreciation so that people recognize its value.

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