Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The California Calico of Chimineas

There is a young cowboy who lives on the range
His horse and his cattle his only companions
He works in the saddle and sleeps in the canyons
Waiting for summer, his pastures to change...

My recent return from 3 days w/ the Codger Crew in the fair fields of Chimineas has me quickly forgetting how bloody hot it was (100+), and instead day-dreaming fondly of the many, many layers of late-summer lovely we had the pleasure to witness, as we merrily tromped hills & dales, explored habitats, and set camera traps.

You see, on Chimineas Ranch in central California, the pastures sure do change in summer. And, howdy. But, those changes don't make them any less spectacular.

Because, as summer wanes in CA, the textures and colors of the grasses, oaks & chaparral become starkly contrasted, and create a wild west look that I call "California Calico."

And I must say - Chimineas shows California Calico well...

looking out the cuyama valley
The southern highlands of Chimineas overlook the Cuyama river and highway 166

setting sun
The sun begins to set on our 3,500 foot lookout

Scattered skies and sunrises - signs that autumn is near

up the next canyon
Exploring a branch of Saltos canyon

california calico
California buckwheat, purple sage, chamise and juniper

late summer mix
California broom sage and fuchsia

exploring a canyon
Slot canyon full of saltbush, mormon tea, and wild rye

rusty buckwheat
Buckwheats and grains ready for pancakes and cereal

blue oaks
Blue blue oaks and green valley oaks

chamise and quartz set
Camera set in chamise on a quartz outcrop

blue oak woodland
The rolling oak savannah of late summer on Chimineas

another sunset
And yet another sunset to end our summer visits - for this year


And even though it was summer's-end, and the water had dwindled, and ground dried to hard pack - there were pretties to be found in the grasslands and canyons.

So, I'll end this seasonal photo-stroll with them:

helianthus in hog springstephanomeria

california fuchsiaericameria

cal asterripe prunus ilicifolia

vinegar weedhareleaf

spikeweedbig tar plant

buckwheatbroom sage

happy nudumlongstem buckwheat

isocoma acradeniaclematis still going

hollyleaf redberrydesert olive




  1. Absolutely stunning photos! LOVE the Calif. calico!!!

  2. Beautiful pictures. I love the oak-spotted hillsides.

  3. Beautiful photos, especially the first one and all the wildflowers. Sometimes when you see these flowers in the wild, they look kinda weedy, but you have shown their beauty. I was delighted to find a holly-leafed redberry hiding out in one of our oaks this year.


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