William Vitek wrote in Preservation Magazine, “Walking is the single best way to experience the here and now. Walking is also the best pace by which our senses can take in the world.” On May 25, I was privileged to take Cerritos Girl Scout Troop No. 2153 for a walk on the Bluff Trail to take in the world of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.
Seventeen eighth-grade girls were excited to see cormorants, pelicans and seals in Otter Cove — or, as Jack Morrow calls it, “Morrow Bay” at the south end. But seeing a doe with twin fawns, not 15 feet away from the trail, was the highlight of the day!
We also spotted a white tailed kite and talked about native plants on the Ranch. The girls serenaded other trail walkers with several songs on the way back to visit other destinations in Cambria, including Hearst Castle. What a great group of young women — maybe future conservationists?
We Cambrians are indeed blessed to have the Ranch’s trail network in our backyards, to walk and enjoy nature when the world seems to be crowding in around us. The Fiscalini Ranch Preserve trails provide the essential routes into a quieter world, sometimes from place to place, but often the trail just leads to — wherever! The web of trails on the Ranch connects more than places; it links each of us with different peoples and times in history. Trails are what help bind us to the land and to the plant and animal realms around us.
The FFRP RanchHands volunteer group recently repaired the Victoria Lane Trail in order to keep our web of trails connected. Volunteers shored up the edge of the slipping trail and defined a single path by spreading woodchips and blocking an ad hoc short cut. Invasive thistles and myoporum bushes were also removed nearby.
Please thank Walt Andrus, Loree Parral, Bruce Mumper, Ken Persinger, Jay Block and Carlos Mendoza for the great work, if you see them. And check it out! It is a trail that not many use, but leads to wonderful places.
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Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (FFRP) is busy preparing for two fundraising events in the next two months:
Please join us for our “Gathering in the Gardens” from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, at Cambria Nursery, 2801 Eton Road (where it meets Burton Drive).
Guests can enjoy the gardens after hours, listen to live music, savor appetizers and sip beverages. A raffle and silent auction will round out the evening.
Local artists, businesses and individuals have donated fantastic items on which to bid. Music will be provided by Mary Schwalbe and Ron Perry and we are expecting a performance by Cambria’s Three Sopranos!
Our 13th annual Great Kitchens of Cambria kitchen tour is coming up Saturday, July 28. You will be hearing more about it as we get closer to the event. In addition to tours of eight very special kitchens, this appetizing event will include palate-pleasing treats and great raffle prizes at each home. Tickets for this event went on sale Saturday, June 15.
Be sure to buy your tickets early as the self-guided tour usually sells out in advance. Visit our website (www.ffrpcambria.org) and click on the link to CambriaKitchenTour.com for information, ticket locations or to purchase tickets online.
Jo Ellen Butlers column is special to The Cambrian. RanchUpdate appears quarterly. Contact the executive director of Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve at ffrpcambria.org, 927-2856, or P.O. Box 1664, Cambria 93428.