Since I’ve managed to keep this going for a whole week I figure it’s as good a time as any to give you my favorite online tools for becoming a hardcore rambler dork like me. Plenty of great books as well but that’s for another day
First the trails.
Ventura County Trails is a great resource. Topo and elevation maps, driving directions, pictures, geocaching links, updated with new stuff fairly often, has covered most of Ojai’s trails at one time or another.
Ojai Ranger District has a good site for up to the minute conditions regarding closures, and a wide array of the outdoor stuff to do around here besides hiking. At the time of this post the link to the hiking trails wasn’t working but I remember the descriptions being short and sweet.
Last but best is our very own OVLC site. Info on guided hikes, talks from experts, bird walks as well as trail maps for the OVLC trails. These are the only guys I will actively shill for, please go, join, get involved.
Now to learn your natives:
Some will argue with me on this but my first online resource is the Santa Monica Mountains Wildflower Site. No, it’s not our mountain range but it’s pretty close. Nice flower finder database where you can just enter color/size details and it will spit out a list for you. Great pictures, usually at least 4 or 5, descriptions are a bit brief but you can link on each page to the UCLA database.
For a thorough list of all Southern California flora the Calflora site has tons of info and pictures. Some very detailed descriptions, but no flower finder, you need to know what you are looking for. I like the link where you can look up the origins of the scientific names of the plants.
Finally for a more garden-centric approach to the plants my favorite is Las Pilitas Nursery’s site. Long list of all the different hybrids you might find for sale as well as most straight species. Nice pictures, good details on how a plant you love might do in different garden conditions.
Let’s give a collective hallelujah for the 2 inches of rain we got this weekend, better than nothing right?