The Tejon Ranch   3 comments

The Tejon Ranch tour was wonderful, yesterday.  It’s a good thing I bought a fresh memory chip for my camera– 54 pictures.  I’ll share the best in the next few days.

A little background — the Tejon (which means badger) is the largest private ranch in California at 270,000 acres.  It’s located in the hills between Bakersfield and Los Angeles, to the east of the stretch of highway known as the Grapevine.  It’s been kept very private.  To go there is a privilege given to comparatively few people.

It began with three Mexican land grants in 1843, was the site of an Indian reservation and Fort Tejon (now a park), and was bought by Edward Beale piecemeal between 1854 and 1866.  In 1912 his son Truxtun Beale sold it to a group of speculators, and it became a private company in 1936.  It’s been controversial for many years, as conservation and development interests went to war over this beautiful, near pristine, piece of California.  Right now, it seems that 240,000 acres will be kept as protected land, while the rest will be developed.  It’s a richly varied habitat, dominated by classic California oak woodland.

Our tour group — I think it was sixteen people — met with two ranch representatives at about nine.  We set off from the flat lands, and headed uphill through constantly changing scenery.

Here’s where we met.  Notice the grapevines draping the cottonwoods in the background.

Here’s part of the welcoming committee.

We left most of the vehicles, and consolidated ourselves into half-a-dozen four-wheel drives.  I rode with two nice ladies named Carol and Lisa.  It didn’t take long to climb high enough to get a good view of the Valley spread out below.  It was hazy, which made it easy to imagine the inland sea that once filled the plains below.

The guide pointed out an area that once was a vast Indian encampment.

Soon we were into the oaks.  We were to see many kinds; valley, blue, live, white, black — I can’t remember them all.  They ranged from tall and magnificent to twisted and picturesque.

Everywhere was evidence of the acorn woodpeckers, which drill dozens of holes.  In each one is stored an acorn.  They seem to prefer dead or dying trees, like this ancient snag.

We were too late for the greatest wildflower displays, for which the Tejon is famous, but we did see our share of late-bloomers.  I’ll show some of them tomorrow.

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Posted July 1, 2012 by stablewoman in Events, Nature

3 responses to “The Tejon Ranch

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  1. Roberta, did you know that they allowed an endurance ride there on the Tejon Ranch a few of years ago?

  2. Can’t wait to see your flower shots!

    Carol A Cunningham

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