The Ventura Highway, heading north from Ventura on the way to Carpinteria.
The geology seems more apparently active here than anyplace I can think of in northern California (well, maybe Mussel Beach is more active).
What's pleasantly missing from this landscape? Jubata grass! I see none of it.
I love the GPS system. I asked Guy if we should give it a name. He suggested "map bitch". We'll call it the mb. I love the mb. You just key in your destination and it tells you where to go. You're free to deviate--the mb simply recalculates your route. Turn down the volume while you do your own thing and turn it back up when you're ready to get back on track. The co-pilot disposes of the maps and effectively retires. What bliss!
The botanical landscape on the side of the road is subtly different here than it is in northern Calif. Baccharis pilularis is the one constant. The largest aggressive weed I can identify is Ricinus of all things. The largest native shrub I see is Atriplex (or possibly Malacothamnus?--some of it looks like Malacothamnus, but I'm not sure what that genus' native range is.) I don't see any Lupinus (we have lots in the Bay Area) and I'm not sure if I see any Artemisia or if so which one.
We stop in Carpinteria to walk the Carpinteria Bluffs. Southern California has oil derricks off the coast and oil wells on the side of the road--which was a big surprise to me the first time I visited Orange County a few years ago.
Is this a native Lotus species? UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley has a few--they're lovely.
The California Trip continues in Part 3.