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Mission Trails – Trail Guide

Seeing nature close-up at Mission Trails Regional Park

By Audrey F. Baker For several weeks, a highlight of the Trail Guide-led nature walk on Visitor Center Loop Trail was the opportunity for eye-level observation of the nesting activities of a Mourning Dove. The female displayed abundant patience as park guests enjoyed the hushed thrill. Memorized expression lit the faces of adults and children […]

Butterfly bonanza at Mission Trails Regional Park

By Audrey F. Baker Eighty percent of our region’s rainfall occurs between December and March, bringing an annual average of around 10 inches. The series of winter rains that began in mid-December and peaked with the deluge of Feb 27, has brought copious spring growth to Mission Trails Regional Park. Trail Guide Bill Edwards recently […]

A botanical mystery at Mission Trails

By Audrey F. Baker | Trail Guide Among our most spectacular winter blooms is Mission Manzanita. Its 0.3-inch flowers appear December to February, ranging from milk white to rose-pink and blending to yellowish tones at the open end. Prodigious urn-shaped flora assemble in small clusters near branch ends. When moist, these mini-mission bells broadcast opalescent […]

Glimpsing nature’s beauty at Mission Trails Regional Park

By Audrey F. Baker Nearly 3 1/2-feet tall with a 5-plus-foot wingspan, the Great Egret firmly stands in the sediments of Mother Earth, grounding itself against the ebb of fresh or salt water. A member of the Heron family, this poised, exacting fisherman stoically waits, and then takes its catch by precision movement of its […]

Gear up for Halloween at Mission Trails Regional Park

By Audrey F. Baker Halloween celebrates nature and nature celebrates Halloween! The scene is set. It’s all here, at Mission Trail Regional Park. Cooler temperatures bring a crispness, and underfoot, fallen leaves of monstrously tall sycamores sound an eerie crunch. Against the skyline, hoary oaks with massive twisted branches are sorcerers, hiding spooky critters on […]

Have a September to remember at Mission Trails Regional Park

By Audrey F. Baker Inspiration and its partner imagination are key components of the human spirit. What better place to exercise these attributes than at Mission Trails Regional Park, where time spent in nature stimulates, motivates and improves your sense of well-being. Surround yourself in the green world and benefit from interaction with the natural environment. […]

Encountering nature at Mission Trails Regional Park

By Audrey F. Baker, Trail Guide For ancient Greeks, the word “psyche” had two meanings — butterfly and soul. The striking beauty and fragility of these fleeting creatures leaves an extraordinary impression. Lorquin’s Admiral (Limenitis lorquini), found along the willow-lined waters of Mission Trails Regional Park, is a true marvel. Its name honors French Entomologist […]