Bandit, Ann, and Abe
By Gretchen Lieff   |   August 6, 2020

When you’ve been quarantined for weeks and a tree falls on your house, at least you’ve got your friends, and your dog Ferocious winds tore through Montecito that night, leaving a wake of damage and power outages. Forecasters blamed a strengthening ridge of high pressure and weak offshore gradients for producing the scary and destructive […]

Walking Through It
By Mackenzie Boss   |   July 23, 2020

When I was younger, I dreaded my parents’ weekend declaration of an impending family walk. I would plead to ride my bike alongside them; to run, skip, cartwheel, anything but walk. We would (slowly) stroll along the dirt path at the nearby Ennisbrook trail and my eyes would meander towards trees that needed climbing, streams […]

 

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1/9 Debris Flow Rebuilding Updates
By Kelly Herrick   |   July 23, 2020

Construction concluded last week on a long-awaited repair following the 1/9 debris flow: a temporary bridge at the Cold Spring Trailhead that connects East Mountain Drive. Construction began in June to replace the bridge, and was paid for by settlement funds from Southern California Edison. The bridge will remain in place for approximately three years […]

Sheryl Crow
By Gretchen Lieff   |   July 2, 2020

I was a “Secret Garden” … “Green Mansions” kind of child. Deep forests, bright brooks, wide fields, and ocean waves beckoned my young exuberance. On the seldom occasions that an adult might be missing me, I would be found deep in the forest, grabbing minnows and crayfish from a tiny creek under the redwoods, or […]

California’s Car Camping Possibilities
By Chuck Graham   |   July 2, 2020

It’s the mobile basecamp transporting you to hidden natural wonders, where time slows down and the only set schedule moves along on its own course. You’re just along for the ride because you chose to be there, making the drive with enough provisions to see you through on your car camping excursion. All you need […]

The Wildest Place In Town
By Lynda Millner   |   June 18, 2020

The wildest place in town has to be the Santa Barbara Zoo and certainly a child’s favorite. When I moved here in the ‘70s I thought the Child estate related to children because the Zoo was there. I soon learned it had once been Lillian Child’s property. When she passed away it eventually became a […]

Newtified
By Chuck Graham   |   June 18, 2020

The creeks were flowing, spilling over a configuration of cobble that snaked their way to the Santa Clara River. As water pooled up and calmed California newts (Taricha torosa) gathered, the only endemic salamander species in the Golden State. As I rock-hopped upstream, I found one of the orange-bellied newts out of the water, out […]

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Monkey See Monkey Do
By Rebecca Moody   |   June 18, 2020

There was once a bunch of impossibly cute and endearingly musical primates swinging around a compound just outside the City of Santa Clarita. And then they moved to Santa Barbara County. That’s how, ideally, the story will go for the Gibbon Conservation Center, a unique research, breeding and residential facility dreamed up and established by […]

The Great Montecito Duck Caper
By Gretchen Lieff   |   May 21, 2020

Monday morning… animal rescue phones at the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network ring endlessly. Breathless callers trying to save a wild life, Samaritans rush in babies of all shapes and sizes; fawns from the Gaviota Fire, Red tail fledglings, bunnies and squirrels and pelicans and racoons and hummingbirds and on and on and on… Cars […]

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Santa Barbara Beekeepers Guild Hosts a Bee-Friendly Garden Contest
By Nick Schou   |   May 7, 2020

Ever since 2013, the Santa Barbara Beekeepers Guild, an offshoot of the Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association, has dedicated itself to educating children about bees and other important pollinators by bringing live insects to school. The guild, which has about 85 members, both bee enthusiasts and beekeepers, also provides free bee rescues to local residents, so […]

Alcatraz
By Lynda Millner   |   April 2, 2020

I’ve been studying to be a docent at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse and learning historical facts. I never knew that the building at the back part of the Courthouse with the turret on top was once our jail. The first floor held the sheriff’s offices (it still does), the second floor was for the […]

The Solo Joy of Sunrise Summitting
By Nick Schou   |   March 26, 2020

One person who has no problem practicing social distancing in Montecito’s front country is Andrea Strand, 42, a registered nurse and nurse practitioner who gets up well before dawn each morning to ride her bike up various paved inclines, especially Gibraltar Road, with the goal of reaching the top by sunrise. “I’m the unofficial hill […]

Social Distancing Now Mandatory on Montecito’s Trails
By Nick Schou   |   March 26, 2020

Despite mounting fears over the COVID-19, aka the “coronavirus,” on March 24, the U.S. Forest Service officially declared that the extensive trail network in the hills above Montecito will remain open for recreational activities until further notice. The news came as a relief to Ashlee Mayfield, president of the Montecito Trail Foundation (MTF), in part […]

Mountain Madness
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 5, 2020

Every year, approximately 375 films vie for just 80 slots in The Banff Mountain Film Festival, the most prestigious international presentation of short films and documentaries about mountain culture, sports, and environment that takes place every October in Banff, Canada. During the festival, a jury chooses the best films in such categories as Mountain Sports, […]

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