San Diego Natural History Museum Canyoneers

San Diego Natural History Museum Canyoneers The Canyoneers lead free public guided nature hikes.The hikes are listed on http://www.sdnhm.org/canyoneers
(28)

Operating as usual

01/25/2021
Birds in the Rain

Went to the San Diego River channel, on the Sea World side, so I could see what the birds were doing in the rain. Videos were taken from under cover of the open hatch back door, while parked at the edge of the road.
I found it interesting the way the water beaded on the ducks backs. I can see where the phrase "like water off of a duck's back" came from. As to the egret, I couldn't tell what the rain was doing. It did seem more affected by the rain than the ducks.

01/24/2021
Snowy Egret Shaking Feet to Eat

A snowy egret using the old vibrating foot trick to stir up/scare up some food.Seen at Mission Trails Regional Park near the grasslands bridge.

01/18/2021
Reddish Egret near OB Dog Beach

The Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) is very active in it's hunting approach. It appears to flap and otherwise move it's wings to flush small fish to eat. This video shows the egret eating several small fish, but it eats them so quickly, within a second, that it is hard to see.
This egret was observed in the morning from the sidewalk running along the San Diego River Channel between the Ocean Beach dog beach and Robb Field.

01/08/2021
Tricolor Heorn (Egretta tricolor)

The Tricolor Heron (Egretta tricolor) can be easily distinguished from the similar Little Blue Heron by the Tricolor's white underside.Heron was observed from the path running on the south side of the San Diego river channel, adjacent to the Ocean Beach Dog Park. Note that it looks like the heron dropped the fish after catching it.

Here's a post from Stacey Vielma, a Canyoneer and also an animal care person for theNat.Happy new year! with a nod to ne...
01/08/2021

Here's a post from Stacey Vielma, a Canyoneer and also an animal care person for theNat.

Happy new year!

with a nod to new beginnings, I thought you might like to see this.... one of the tarantulas that I take care of at the museum recently molted. It is the California black, or ebony, tarantula - Aphonopelma eutylenum - we have on exhibit. This is the only native species of tarantula in our region. (I have 3 other tarantulas behind the scenes).

the spider is quite vulnerable when molting, as you can see. it doesn't eat for a bit (the length of time depends on the animal) before getting completely on its back so it can molt - basically slowly "vibrating" out of its old exoskeleton, with a fresh one underneath. it is more common for the animal to burrow for this process, because it is so vulnerable. for whatever reason, our tarantula never quite got that step done, hence the great picture lol. the spider remains vulnerable for a few days after molting, as the new exoskeleton hardens up. I've got some nice fat crickets to reward this beauty when it's ready! 😁

you can really see why the name is black tarantula after the molt!

you can also search for videos on YouTube. there are some good time lapse videos of the process. unfortunately, the museum was closed for the holidays and I wasn't able to set up a camera for my own footage, but at least I got some before and after pics! 😁

The Fiesta Island Dog Park is like no other dog park in the birds it has. Horned larks are more common there than any wh...
12/18/2020
Fiesta Island Dog Park 12-13-2020

The Fiesta Island Dog Park is like no other dog park in the birds it has. Horned larks are more common there than any where else that I know of. Another oddity, the DOG park is riddled with gopher holes. I saw two different gophers sticking heads out of holes while walking my dog. Click the link below to see videos and photos of birds and gophers in the park.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/aking1/albums/72157717404074113

It is kind of crazy the birds that can be found in this dog park. The horned lark is common here, There was a flock of meadowlark. A couple of gophers stuck their heads out of their holes.

Here we go! 🥾 Cooler weather opens up some awesome hikes throughout San Diego County. Here, Canyoneers selected 10 great...
12/16/2020
Ten Great Hikes for Winter

Here we go! 🥾 Cooler weather opens up some awesome hikes throughout San Diego County. Here, Canyoneers selected 10 great hikes for the winter season and we've shared some the flora and fauna you can see along the way.

Let us know if you check them out.

From open grasslands, desert views, urban terrains, and flowing rivers, there is plenty to enjoy on brisk winter hikes in San Diego—even without snow. Our Canyoneers recommend San Diego's top trails for winter, where you can find spectacular views, overwintering birds, and more as you stay sociall...

12/09/2020
Mission Trails Visitor Center and Grinding Rocks Trails

The Visitor Center Loop trail is about two miles. I recommend taking the Grinding Rocks side trail. It has a place where you can sit on boulders under the shade of a coast live oak while looking down on the San Diego River. It is pleasant to see the life associated with water when other places are so dry and brown. The route can be found in “Coast to Cactus, the Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors”.

Who says San Diego doesn't have beautiful fall color in it's native plants?
11/27/2020

Who says San Diego doesn't have beautiful fall color in it's native plants?

Here are a few photos from near the Jackson Dr trail river crossing in Mission Trails Regional Park. This is near the st...
10/22/2020

Here are a few photos from near the Jackson Dr trail river crossing in Mission Trails Regional Park. This is near the start of one of the ways to hike South Fortuna Mountain.

Here are some photos from the South Fortuna hike recommended by the Canyoneers. The hike is in Mission Trails Regional P...
10/10/2020
South Fortuna Loop

Here are some photos from the South Fortuna hike recommended by the Canyoneers. The hike is in Mission Trails Regional Park. It goes from the Jackson Dr parking lot, up the South Fortuna staircase, north along the ridge to the saddle between North and South Fortuna, down from the saddle to the west and back again. The photos and comments can be seen at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aking1/albums/72157716327350571

In Mission Trails Regional Park. These photos were taken October 4, 2020.

10/02/2020
melon horse migration oaks grinding rocks

Canyoneer stream of consciousness by Sally Davis and Jim Varnell at Mast Park, Santee, California. Subjects discussed while standing next to a calabazilla patch, a wild squash, include: melon, horse, migration, oaks, grinding rocks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUV3YwOoBYg&list=PLJfIdmXnHptiLRwBXjgw1a5QdkxP9-6K1&index=13&t=24s

Natural History of Mast Park plants as told by San Diego Natural History Museum Canyoneers Jim Varnell and Sally Davis during a hike through the park on Sept...

10/01/2020
Mulefat, Making Arrows

Here is a video of Canyoneers Jim Varnell and Sally Davis talking about mulefat and the making of arrows by the Kumeyaay. This was recorded at Mast Park in Santee. Mast Park is one of the 10 Canyoneer recommended hikes for Sept-Oct 2020.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yltw6YhK3Ng&list=PLJfIdmXnHptiLRwBXjgw1a5QdkxP9-6K1&index=11&t=11s

Natural History of Mast Park plants as told by San Diego Natural History Museum Canyoneers Jim Varnell and Sally Davis during a hike through the park on Sept...

San Diego Natural History Museum Botany Department
09/18/2020

San Diego Natural History Museum Botany Department

09/08/2020

One of the trails we recommended, the Kumeyaay Lake trail in Mission Trails Regional park is still closed as of September 7, 2020. This is a shady, little trail around the lake. Check at mtrp.org for the current status of the trail before making plans to hike it.

The Canyoneers are on hiatus for the Fall season due to COVID but we just posted ten recommended hikes for the Fall that...
09/06/2020
Canyoneer Hikes

The Canyoneers are on hiatus for the Fall season due to COVID but we just posted ten recommended hikes for the Fall that you can do on your own. Make sure you always check ahead to see if the trail is open and follow the public health guidelines for safety on the trail. We have included links in the hike descriptions so you can check the respective websites. Hike responsibly keeping COVID in mind.
https://www.sdnhm.org/education/canyoneer-hikes/

Canyoneers are trained naturalists who offer free, guided nature hikes throughout the County.

Thanks for a great season! As you probably know, we made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of the hikes (th...
04/20/2020

Thanks for a great season! As you probably know, we made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of the hikes (through June) but are already planning the 2020-2021 season. Big thanks to all our volunteer Canyoneers and all hike participants who have hit the trails with us since late last summer. We also recognize the generosity of our corporate partner Subaru of America, Inc. whose commitment to outdoor education provided support for this program and underwrote free nature hikes for local classrooms. See you next season!

04/02/2020

It's with much sadness that we cancelled all remaining Canyoneer hikes for the season. Be safe. We'll be back next fall circumstance permitting.

03/16/2020
The Nat | San Diego Natural History Museum

We have made the difficult decision to close The Nat to the public at least through March 27. This also entails canceling our Canyoneer-led hikes through April 30.
We realize closures like these can feel ominous, but we see it as an act of solidarity—a collective effort to protect our most vulnerable populations. Our museum doors may be closed, but our work will not stop. Head to sdnat.org/visit for more information.

03/15/2020

The March 17 hike at Iron Mountain has been cancelled due to expected rain.

HIKE HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO EXPECTED RAINIron Mountain (Ellie Lane Loop Trail) MidweekTuesday, March 17, 2020 8:00 AMT...
03/13/2020
Iron Mountain - Ellie Loop Trail 3-5-2020

HIKE HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO EXPECTED RAIN

Iron Mountain (Ellie Lane Loop Trail) Midweek
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 8:00 AM

This alternative approach to hiking Iron Mountain has many of the same challenges and scenery but starts from a less-crowded parking area. There are hillsides of granitic boulders and views of Ramona from a saddle 200 feet lower than Iron Mountain peak. This is a difficult 6 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of greater than 1500 feet. Scheduled to end by 12:30 PM.

(Poway) Take I-8 take CA-67 and drive 13.5 miles north. Turn right at Ellie Ln. (0.5 mile north of the Poway Rd. traffic light) and meet the Canyoneer host in the parking area. Do not turn in at the Poway Rd. intersection entrance to the main Iron Mountain trailhead parking area. No facilities. (GPS N32.987684, W116.976938)

Please, no dogs on Canyoneer hikes.

About Nature Hikes:
Canyoneers are San Diego Natural History Museum volunteers trained to teach appreciation of plants and animals in southern California. Walks are open to the public; no reservations are required. For more information visit the Canyoneer hikes page.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/aking1/albums/72157713475789162

Canyoneer prehike

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Cool Canyon) Sunday, March 15, 2020 10:00 AMCool Canyon is a sun-shaded canyon of Granit...
03/11/2020

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
(Cool Canyon)
Sunday, March 15, 2020 10:00 AM

Cool Canyon is a sun-shaded canyon of Granite Mountain, where the steep granitic walls provide shade from the afternoon sun, and at 2400 feet elevation, the canyon stays relatively cool. Julian schist, pegmatite dikes, and mineralized rock make this canyon interesting in addition to the variety of plant life found here. This is an easy 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet. Scheduled to end by 1:00 PM.

(Shelter Valley) Take CA-78/79 to Julian and turn right on CA-78 E (Main St.) and go 11.6 miles. Turn south on S-2 (Great Southern Overland Stage Route) and go 4 miles. Continue 0.4 mile past the Stagecoach Trails RV Resort and park off the road on the right. Consolidate into 4WD or high-clearance vehicles and caravan to the trailhead. No facilities. (GPS N33.055684, W116.420558)

About Nature Hikes:
Canyoneers are San Diego Natural History Museum volunteers trained to teach appreciation of plants and animals in southern California. Walks are open to the public; no reservations are required. For more information visit the Canyoneer hikes page. Please, no dogs on Canyoneer hikes.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Moonlight Canyon & Inner Pasture) Saturday, March 14, 2020 9:00 AMHike through Moonlight...
03/11/2020

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Moonlight Canyon & Inner Pasture)
Saturday, March 14, 2020 9:00 AM

Hike through Moonlight Canyon from the Agua Caliente Hot Springs to the isolated Inner Pasture. The Kumeyaay once lived in this area between the Sawtooth Mountains and the Tierra Blanca Mountains of Anza-Borrego. This is a difficult 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet and some strenuous challenges. Scheduled to end by 2:00 PM.

(Ocotillo) From I-8, exit north on S-2 (Imperial Hwy), and go 26 miles to the turnoff on the left for Agua Caliente Hot Springs. Park on the side access road across from the store before the entrance to Agua Caliente County Park. Facilities. (GPS N32.955250, W116.302202)

About Nature Hikes:
Canyoneers are San Diego Natural History Museum volunteers trained to teach appreciation of plants and animals in southern California. Walks are open to the public; no reservations are required. For more information visit the Canyoneer hikes page. Please, no dogs on Canyoneer hikes.

03/08/2020

TODAY'S, MARCH 8, DICTIONARY HILL HIKE IS CANCELED BECAUSE OF THE EFFECT OF THE RAIN ON TRAIL CONDITIONS.

Here is a link to some pre-hike photos for the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (WEST BUTTE BORREGO MT) hike scheduled for...
03/05/2020
Borrego Mountain and Slot Canyon 2-27-2020

Here is a link to some pre-hike photos for the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (WEST BUTTE BORREGO MT) hike scheduled for Saturday, March 7, 2020 9 AM–1 PM. Photos by Ron King.
[email protected]/albums/72157713332388821" rel="nofollow,noopener" target="_blank">https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157713332388821

A 5.5 mile/743 ft ascent hike including two parts: one down Borrego wash through a slot canyon and the other up to the West Butte of Borrego Mountain (see map = last picture)

Anza-Borrego Desert State ParkSaturday, March 7, 2020 9 AM–1 PM(WEST BUTTE BORREGO MT) The trail is a very steep downhil...
03/04/2020

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Saturday, March 7, 2020 9 AM–1 PM
(WEST BUTTE BORREGO MT)

The trail is a very steep downhill, then a slight uphill through a slot canyon to an area that, when in season, has spectacular wildflower displays. Explore the main slot plus side canyons. Rating: This is a difficult 4 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.

Take CA-78/79 to Julian and turn right on CA-78 E (Main St.) and go 28.5 miles. Turn left on Borrego Mountain Wash and park. Consolidate into 4WD or high-clearance vehicles and caravan to the trailhead. No facilities. (GPS: N33.158966, W116.218826)

Please, no dogs on Canyoneer hikes.

HIKE CANCELED BECAUSE OF THE EFFECT OF THE RAIN ON TRAIL CONDITIONSDictionary Hill Open Space Preserve New!Sunday, March...
03/04/2020

HIKE CANCELED BECAUSE OF THE EFFECT OF THE RAIN ON TRAIL CONDITIONS

Dictionary Hill Open Space Preserve New!
Sunday, March 8, 2020 3–7 PM
(GREMLIN WAY TRAILHEAD)

One of the newest additions to the County’s open space parks, this area supports a wealth of native plants, birds, and wildflowers. The trail leads to the top of the mountain, where hikers are greeted by a 360-degree panoramic view of southeast San Diego. Come learn the fascinating story of why this was originally known as Lookout Mountain. Rating: This is an intermediate 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.

From CA-94, exit south on Sweetwater Springs Blvd. and go 1.3 miles. Turn right on Jamacha Blvd. and go 0.8 mile. Turn right on Whitestone Rd. and go 0.5 mile. Turn left on Greenleaf Rd. and go 0.1 mile. Turn right on Jacoby Rd. and go 0.2 mile. Turn right on Gremlin Way and go to the end of the street to meet your Canyoneer host. No facilities. (GPS: N32.72025, W116.98000)

Please, no dogs on Canyoneer hikes.

Some photos of the Domelands hike, Feb 29, 2020, by Canyoneer Merrilyn Pope
03/03/2020

Some photos of the Domelands hike, Feb 29, 2020, by Canyoneer Merrilyn Pope

02/29/2020

The Santa Margarita River March 1 hike has been cancelled due to trail conditions.

CANCELED DUE TO TRAIL CONDITIONSSanta Margarita RiverRiver TrailSunday, March 1, 2020 9 AM–NOONThe Santa Margarita River...
02/26/2020

CANCELED DUE TO TRAIL CONDITIONS

Santa Margarita River
River Trail
Sunday, March 1, 2020 9 AM–NOON

The Santa Margarita River is one of the last free-flowing rivers in San Diego County. The river peacefully flows under a canopy of tall trees, between banks lined with dense riparian growth. This is a cool, refreshing place for a hike any time of the year. Wildlife, including deer and other large mammals, depend on this river corridor. The area is also noted for raptors that may be seen overhead or perched in trees. Rating: This is an intermediate 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet and some moderate challenges.

From I-15, go west on Mission Rd. and continue on East Mission Rd. for 4.9 miles. Turn right on North Pico Ave., which becomes De Luz Rd. Go 1.2 miles. Turn right on Sandia Creek Dr. Go 1.1 miles. Parking lot is on right. No facilities. (GPS: N33.413515, W117.241602)

Please, no dogs on Canyoneer hikes.

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1788 El Prado
San Diego, CA
92101

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