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Happy Thanksgiving!

ndwoods | November 28, 2013 | COMMENTS:No Comments »

In honor of this wonderful Thanksgiving holiday we all share, I thought I’d post a photo my brother in law, Rick Nettles of Rick Nettles Photography, took of a gorgeous Turkey at Wilder State Park!

Wild Turkey at Wilder

Wild Turkey at Wilder

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Spring is here!

ndwoods | April 17, 2013 | COMMENTS:No Comments »

Been out in the park a lot lately….and spring is here!

Wildflowers are covering the hills! Wildlife abounds! Yesterday we saw a “rafter” of turkeys (a rafter is a flock of turkeys…), a young healthy bobcat and several individual deer. Wilder is beautiful in all seasons, but don’t miss our wonderful varieties of grasses and wildflowers in full bloom right now!:)

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Winter at Wilder

ndwoods | January 9, 2013 | COMMENTS:No Comments »

Don’t let winter scare you away from Wilder State park!

Winter is a lovely time to visit Wilder. The grasses are greening, wildlife abounds all winter. And, except after major storms, the park stays open and all but the single track trails are safe and enjoyable!

So come hike, bike and ride your park!

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Sundance Catalog at Wilder!

ndwoods | October 17, 2012 | COMMENTS:No Comments »

Robert Redford’s Sundance Catalog just spent a few days at Wilder doing photo shoots! I can’t think of a finer place to do a photo shoot….guess we better check out the next catalog!:)

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Bring a map….

Entering Wilder Historic Buildings enroute the backcountry

I was recently reading a string of posts on one of my favorite hiking forums about lost hikers. The trails at Wilder are very well marked at every intersection. And when you get to the visitor center before setting out on your hike, you can pick up a free map of the park! Just as you leave the entrance kiosk and are headed to the Wilder visitor center parking lot, there is a building on your immediate right that has maps on the door….be sure and grab one!
Have fun on your hike, the cooling late summer temperatures are perfect hiking temps for hiking, biking and riding right now out in Wilder!

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A California Poppy is a California Poppy! Isn’t it?…..

ndwoods | August 2, 2012 | COMMENTS:No Comments »

Ok, so who reading this knew there was another type of Poppy that looked like a California Poppy?  I ingloriously admit that I did not!   But while riding Wilder with a friend a couple of weeks ago I was admiring some poppies when suddenly I realized they did not look the same!   They were lighter in color, not the brilliant orange they are so famous for.   At first I thought maybe it was a soil or seasonal difference.   Then I realized the center was bright orange still,  while the petals were light…almost yellow!   Hm….

So,  the hunt was on!   After doing quite a bit of research,  I am happy to have some fun info to pass on to you!   There are California Poppies,  and then,  there are (drumroll please….) …….Coastal Poppies!!!!

California Poppies in the foreground, Coastal Poppies in the background

In the picture above you can see the color differences fairly easily even though this is not the greatest photo….I’ll update the photos when I get some better ones.
In the meantime….a bit of info, the California Poppy flowers are slightly larger and bloom earlier.   Though the California Poppy is a drought resistance plant,  in searching high and low,  I have seen very few in Wilder currently where they were everywhere in the earlier spring.  I am guessing they must need a bit more water than the Coastals.

On the other hand,  the Coastal Poppy is a smaller flower and lower to the ground and seems to bloom much later,  as the only California Poppies I found to photo were in areas where water from the crop sprinklers reached them.   Yet  the Coastal Poppies are all over the hills of Wilder right now!
Here’s a fun pic of the Coastal Poppies aka Eschscholzia californica maritima. You can see they are lighter with the darker orange center.   And if you look even more carefully,  you will see the shadow of my horse’s head in the photo! Grin.

Coastal Poppies at Wilder State Park.

Now, here is pic of the beloved and famous State Flower for California…the California Poppy aka Eschscholzia californica.

California Poppies!

Now here’s another news flash….besides the two subspecies I have mentioned here….there are possibly four other subspecies of the California Poppy although botanists can’t seem to agree on whether to agree on them as being truly distinct subspecies.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little bit of flora trivia….and can get out to Wilder to see them for yourselves soon!


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A bicyclist at Wilder stopped me on my horse today….

ndwoods | July 30, 2012 | COMMENTS:4 Comments »

Still a few California Poppys at Wilder….

My friend and I were just starting our ride today. We had gone through the gate and were just headed up the main trail. We were talking about this and that while walking out on our on horses and a couple of bikes were coming towards us so we just naturally moved off to the right to let them pass. In fact, we had been side by side, but we rearranged ourselves to single file so they could ride on by without interference. This is business as usual for us. But the second biker stopped and said he just needed to tell us something. I expected him to ask to take our picture, or maybe to tell us there was a rattler up the way, or maybe a tree down…why would anyone stop you on the trail? But…he surprised both my friend and I by proceeding to say that he just had to tell us that he had never experienced such polite and pleasant horse back riders in a park anywhere! What a nice thing to say! He told us he was from out of town, and I am sorry in retrospect that bikers and horses don’t always get along other places….but in our park, it’s a fact that bikers and horses in the main are very courteous and helpful to each other! Thank you Wilder bikers and riders for creating this atmosphere!

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The Wilder tunnel…..

ndwoods | July 2, 2012 | COMMENTS:No Comments »

My friend and I were riding our horses down the bike path today towards Wilder from the direction of Santa Cruz. A couple of bikers stopped us asking where the tunnel was. In case you aren’t familiar with it, the famous Wilder State Park tunnel that goes under highway one and leads you into the backcountry and many wonderful trails is at the end of the highway one bike path coming from Santa Cruz. In otherwards, the bike path dead ends at the tunnel! If you are coming from Santa Cruz, the bike/hike path is a wonderful way to access Wilder!

Wilder Tunnel to the backcountry, notice the bike path on the right dead ending into the road going thru the tunnel....

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