Buena Vista Trail

Florence Sanchez

I hiked a good portion of the Buena Vista Trail this morning, intending to reach the Romero connector and walk up that trail to see the Fire Poppies (Wind Poppies) Mark Bright found.  Unfortunately, I left the right map at home and so turned back before reaching that point, thinking I'd missed the connector.  When my parked car came back in sight, I realized I hadn't missed it and when I got home and consulted the map, I found I just had not walked far enough.

Nonetheless, it was a good hike with plenty of other flowers and a good assortment of birds.  The chaparral is recovering well and in addition, there are lots of blooming annuals and perennials along the trail.  Fire-followers found on this portion of the trail were Sticky Snapdragon and Large-flowered Phacelia.  The dominant plant on the hillsides right now is the white wild Morning Glory, not necessarily a fire follower, but it really becomes abundant after a fire until the chaparral fills in.

The riparian forest along the creek was badly burned.  Some of the sycamores are putting out a few leaves but most of the others along with the cottonwoods are just skeletons.  However, the sycamores at least are putting up a lot of new growth around their bases and the oak trees are recovering well.  But because the habitat along the stream is so open , it was easy to see birds.  Among the species I found there were two Nashville Warblers, a couple of Wilson's Warblers, a beautiful MacGillivray's Warbler, singing Black-headed Grosbeaks, Hooded Oriole, and a couple of Lincoln Sparrows.  I also heard a Canyon Wren, which was nice since I have not found any elsewhere so far this spring.  Giant Echium has escaped from the gardens across the creek to the trailside and is good bloom.  This is important because the species is very attractive to hummingbirds.  I found 2 Anna's, 1 Rufous, and a Rufous/Allen's type in their vicinity.

I hope to try this trail again soon, this time with map in hand.

Florence Sanchez