About this Photoblog

“ A conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke he is writing his signature on the face of his land.” — Aldo Leopold

Wild Gulch is about conservation, about observing land, and making decisions to preserve it and the plants and animals that are part of it. Photography is one way to document the changes over time, and to identify the countless species that exist on a property, or pass through it.

This land is in California’s Gold Country, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, elevation 2500 feet. It is rich with two distinct ecosystems: forested areas called Sierra Mixed Conifer, and grassy meadows with native oaks called Valley Oak Woodland. There are riparian features including a seasonal stream that forms a gulch through the land. A wild gulch.

But the land is not pristine. It’s impossible to know all the ways people have used it over time. In the last hundred years alone, the land has been homesteaded, ranched, mined and logged, probably loved and abused at the same time. Remnants of those times remain amidst the natural life. There are non-native plants – horticultural plants introduced for their garden appeal, and invasive hitchhikers that have naturalized.

But in the last 20 to 30 years, little has been done to the land. No farming, no grazing, no hunting, combined with a renewed effort of conservation. Ecologists at the University of California say “there is no special recipe for maintaining an area’s natural flora, but minimum activity for a period of time may be crucial.” For now, that’s our recipe.

Visit often. Enjoy. Comment. About the photos, about the nature. If you see something that you think is incorrect, please let me know. You can email me here.

Wild Gulch is a member of several photoblog communities: VFXY, Cool Photoblogs, Photoblog Community, and the Nature Blog Network.

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