New Sherwood

Loma Rica, California

This morning I drove out to one of California’s most beautiful spots in the Sierra foothills, a place called Loma Rica. The area is characterized by gently rolling oak-studded hills, dotted with ranches and homesteads. The land is suitable for olives and irrigated pasture, but apparently not much else. Most of the population lives outside the town itself, but there are a couple of streets in town that make for a small and humble neighborhood.

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The name Loma Rica means “Rich Hill” in Spanish. According to one source, the place is nicknamed “Wild Hog Glory” due its wild hog population. I didn’t see any wild hogs up there, but I did see a huge flock of wild turkeys up toward the end of Wolf Trail Road:

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January 16, 2014 - Posted by | Regional-Local-Personal

11 Comments »

  1. I have a strong bias towards the eastern half of this country. Lots of green grass and hardwood trees just seems like home to me. The big mountains are beautiful but the West seems so alien to me. Everything is brown and dry-looking and I don’t like the abundant conifers as much.

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    Comment by Bruce | January 16, 2014 | Reply

  2. Bruce, I understand. The west is in my own blood, in the same way. But I enjoy the eastern landscapes as well. The midwest is a little tougher to love in that regard.

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    Comment by Blogmaster | January 16, 2014 | Reply

  3. If you love the east, you will feel more at home in the Midwest than the far west. Take my word for it as one who has tried all three. The reason is that the deciduous forests (maples, oaks) as well as the birds (cardinals, in particular) are common to the east and to the Midwest but not to the far west. So in the fall, if you get out on the road, you will see the fall colors in Michigan and also in Pennsylvania, even though Michigan doesn’t have the PA hills. You can’t do a color tour in California like that. As far as I know. And no cardinals.

    I lived for a while in Pullman, Washington. I have never felt so out of place. What a desolate, featureless, depressing town. The most “colorful” birds one ever saw were magpies.

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    Comment by Lydia | January 17, 2014 | Reply

  4. Oh, Lydia, you’re wrong about the fall colors in California. Chico is known as the “city of trees” and fall is always spectacular: http://www.flickr.com/groups/buttecounty/pool/44525580@N07/

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    Comment by Blogmaster | January 17, 2014 | Reply

  5. That is beautiful, but what are they? I’m thinking perhaps not maple woods?

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    Comment by Lydia | January 17, 2014 | Reply

  6. I could, however, be wrongly judging California by Washington. :-)

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    Comment by Lydia | January 17, 2014 | Reply

  7. Some are maples, I am sure. Maples do well here. I’ve planted numerous maples over the years myself. There are hundreds of tree varieties in Bidwell Park, where the photos were taken. Remember that California has a huge variety of climates and landscapes. There are places where the snow almost never melts. The landscape in the above photos will be green and lush in the spring.

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    Comment by Blogmaster | January 17, 2014 | Reply

  8. One difference here in the north Sacramento valley is that many trees, if not growing near a high water table (such Chico Creek provides), need summer irrigation in order to get started. But once they get rooted they can do without it.

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    Comment by Blogmaster | January 17, 2014 | Reply

  9. Right, maples did well when planted and watered in WA as well. The ground was actually very fertile, but everything was very dry (in Pullman). What one didn’t get in that vicinity, or in the north Idaho panhandle just over the border, were oak and maple forests, because they didn’t grow spontaneously. The forests were mostly coniferous.

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    Comment by Lydia | January 17, 2014 | Reply

    • Indeed, we don’t have the preponderance of deciduous forestation that you have, and that Bruce mentioned. But they do exist in CA, such as the one in the linked photos which is just a couple of blocks away. You’ll see more of these at the lower elevations in the northern mountains and foothills, closer to the coast. Trinity and Humbolt counties, for instance.

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      Comment by Blogmaster | January 17, 2014 | Reply

  10. Lydia, I’ve never visited your state but always thought it was a very pretty place. I particularly like the UP and the northern part of the lower peninsula around sleeping bear dunes. I like the idea of being surrounded by inland “oceans” and the rolling hills and maples look like New England.
    Jeff, those pictures of Chico are beautiful. We don’t get fall colors here in Florida. But the climate here has its advantages. We have an abundant harvest of peppers, tomatoes and collard greens from our garden right now in January.

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    Comment by Bruce | January 21, 2014 | Reply


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