Channel island trip

8:30 am Ventura harbor

We landed at Scorpion Canyon anchorage. The island was used for ranching for many years. The national park part of the island recognizes this history. The Nature Conservancy runs the other part of the island, and they may have a different mission.

Revegetation efforts are underway. This island cherry (differentiated from its mainland cousin primarily by smooth-edged leaves versus pointed leaves) was probably planted as part of that effort. The last of the sheep were taken off the island only 5 years ago, so while there is some recovery, it's far from a native plant paradise.

There's an interesting success story concerning the recovery of the island fox and reinstatement of Bald Eagles on the island.

We took a guided hike to a nearby point where we ate a picnic lunch while looking across the channel at the mainland.

A short hike over to Potato Harbor had good scenery.

This is Potato Harbor.

I'm using Camera Genius and Pano apps for my iPhone as of yesterday and they are both quite good.

Here's some of the native plants we saw.

Dudleya and another, smaller, succulent. D. candelabrum is the endemic species. The smaller succulent is unknown to me.

Datura, planted near the rangers' quarters.

Toyon or Christmas Berry.

Coreopsis gigantea. I always thought that the flowers were yellow, but this early blooming one is not, as were his neighbors.

There's many more plants to see on the island. These are just the ones that made it into my iPhone. Peak bloom was clearly off by at least a month in the future for almost everything we saw.

Some interesting holes in a bank. They are shallow, for the most part, and we couldn't decide if they were from modern insects or ancient sea bed creatures.

Goodbye Santa Cruz island.


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  2. Good to read about your trip. I went out to Catalina a couple times as a kid. Once for an outdoor education program in 8th grade where we learned a lot about the endemic species. Haven't been since, but I'm interested in going to some of the other islands. Also good to know they're trying to restore them a bit.