View of Irvine Lake from Fremont Canyon Ridge

Irvine Lake from Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve

Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve

Fremont Canyon is often referred to as “the Yosemite of Orange County” due to its striking beauty and massive granite formations. It is rich in biological diversity and history. The area is also home to many rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals. The Irvine Ranch Conservancy conducts frequent scheduled docent-led hikes and also lead mountain bike rides and equestrian rides enabling nature lovers to experience the canyon’s remote wonders. Registration for docent-led programs is required due to the area’s sensitive habitat, but all programs are free. (LetsGoOutside.com).

The docent-led hike I joined on a recent Saturday morning was informative and mildly challenging. We climbed to the top of the ridge on some continuously steep hills. Our pace included many stops to learn about the flora and fauna where we learned about animal scat and animal tracks. One hiker also made a cast of mountain lion foot prints that were embedded in the creek bed from recent rains.

This panorama image was captured with an iPhone 6Plus and edited in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Learn how to

unleash the power of your iPhone

this summer at Santiago Canyon College/Community Services with Julie Diebolt Price. Here is our schedule of classes.

Delightful Dahlias Worth the Visit

Delightful dahlias took our breath away when we attended the

Annual Dahlias Festival

Watch the video to see a sampling of the blooms on display. They are really remarkable.

Swan Island Dahlias sponsors the festival and are celebrating their 89th year. Canby, Oregon, the dahlia capital of America is located in Central Oregon. It is a one-hour drive south of Portland.

You can learn how to grow these gems at this annual event and place orders for tubers (strangely resembling sweet potatoes) that will be delivered in the spring next year. They teach where and when to plant, soil preparation and planting, staking, watering, fertilizer, digging, and winter storage. For more information you can visit the Swan Island Dahlias website at www.dahlias.com.

The flowers bloom in August and September, not in the spring like many other flower species. They are a hearty and long-lasting flower that should bring a lot of enjoyment.

Freesia at the Flower Stall in Downtown Portland

The Flower Stall in Downtown Portland

On a recent photography trip to Portland, Oregon, the freesia was in bloom along with many other locally grown gems. There are the regular weekly customers, as well as tourists to enjoy this flower stall 365 days a year and in all kinds of weather.

The magical florist was creating spellbinding floral creations for all to enjoy. You can visit their website here.

flower stall in Downtown Portland Oregon

Spellbound Flowers in Downtown Portland Oregon

Rose from the Rose City

A locally grown rose from the Rose Capital City

florist arranging flowers

The magical florist creating spellbinding flower creations

Customer smells fragrant freesia

Customer smells fragrant freesia