Caspers Wilderness Park ~ Only 45 minutes from Newport Beach

Escape from the frenzy of the city and enjoy the tranquility of open space and wilderness.

Sound like an overnight trip to some remote area?

Not really, Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park is only 45 minutes drive from Fashion Island in Newport Beach. It is located adjacent to the Ortega Highway (74), just a short distance outside of San Juan Capistrano.

A brief description from the Caspers Wilderness Park web site is as follows:

Caspers Wilderness Park is an 8,000 acre protected wilderness preserve nestled among the river terraces and sandstone canyons of the western coastal Santa Ana Mountains. The park’s many fertile valleys are overtly complemented by specimen groves of native Coastal Live Oak and magnificent stands of California Sycamore. These areas are further accentuated by seasonal wildflower displays and running streams. Wildlife is abundant and can be readily viewed from any of the parks numerous trails.

The other day I felt like unwinding a little and decided to explore the park with my camera.

Being new to the hiking scene, it seemed appropriate to take a short loop starting at the Old Corral Picnic area taking the Nature Loop trail to the Oak Trail, then a portion of the Star Rise Trial to the Bell Canyon Trail returning the the starting point. In all, the hike was about 3 miles in length and very easy to negotiate.

As far as abundant wild life goes, two hawks and one lizard were observed. Not exactly an African safari.

There are, however, abundant stands of old oak trees with gnarly character that provide shaded paths and interesting shadows.

Below are a few photographs taken along the trail.










What are your thoughts?

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Now is the great time of year to visit the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach CA

Ferris Wheel at Balboa Fun Zone

The summer crowds are gone. The weather is perfect for an enjoyable afternoon at the beach, bicycling or strolling along the oceanfront “Boardwalk”, up and down the Balboa and Newport piers or through the Main Street village and the Fun Zone.

Ocean temperatures are still warm enough for comfortable swimming and the sunny beaches invite spending the afternoon with a good book or just people watching. The more adventurous may desire to rent a small sail boat, power boat or a stand-up paddle board for a tour of the harbor.

After a pleasant beach day, you may want to partake of dinner at one of the Balboa Peninsula’s fine restaurants or take a short ferry ride to Balboa Island for a meal at one of the Island’s great dining spots.

What are your thoughts?

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Video Tutorial : Determine Annual Property Tax Prior to Purchase ~ Orange County Coastal Areas

A short video tutorial has just been added to the site which demonstrates how to calculate the Orange County Coastal Area annual property tax for a particular property prior to purchasing that property.

What are your Thoughts?

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Newport Beach 2014 Annual Christmas Lights Boat Parade viewing cruises

Tomorrow evening (December 17, 2014 ) is the start date for the Annual Newport Beach Christmas Lights Boat Parade.

It is a spectacular display of boats decorated with colorful holiday lighting. The parade circumnavigates Newport Harbor and may be viewed from many vantage points. However, perhaps the most fun is to be among the floating lighted boats via a cruse boat tour offered by many of the local tour boat agencies.

This is a very popular event, so be sure to find your parking place early in the evening.
The parade passes by any one point for about an hour. Therefore, come prepared to say out in the brisk winter evening for that length of time and consider bringing something warm to drink.

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

Christmas Boat Parade Web Site

Some of the tour operators offering a Christmas Boat Parade tour may be found below, listed in no particular order.

Davey’s Locker
Newport Landing
Cruise Newport Beach
Hornblower Cruises & Events
Electra Cruises
The Fun Zone Boat Company
Angela Louise Charter

What are your thoughts?

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A Hidden Treasure ~ Pirate Tower on Victoria Beach ~ Laguna Beach CA

Pirate Tower ~ Laguna Beach, CA

The Pirate Tower on Victoria Beach in Laguna Beach is a sixty foot Norman style tower which houses a spiral wooden stairway. The tower provides access from the beach to the associated home above.

The home and tower were originally constructed in 1926 as a residence for the State Senator William E. Brown and his family. The house was owned by the Browns until the early 1940’s at which time it was purchased by Harold Kendrick.

During the Kendrick ownership of the home, he was thought to be as eclectic and fascinating as the buildings. He entertained local children in his home with games and prizes. In addition, he would hide coins in the tower for the children to find and keep.

Access to the area surrounding the tower can be most easily reached at low tide.

Here is a link to the “Google Maps Location” of the Pirate Tower.

The entire property is now registered with the State of California as a historical property under the Common Name of “The Norman House” and the Historic Name of “La Tour”. A more detailed description and history of the residence may be obtained by reading the “Historic Resources Inventory” document on file with the City of Laguna Beach.

What are your Thoughts?

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Grab Your Board & Wetsuit ~ High Surf Is Coming To Newport Beach Dec 11 ~ 13, 2014

Little Corona del Mar Surf

Issued by NWS for: Newport Beach CA

Beach Hazards Statement
COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA
556 AM PST MON DEC 8 2014

…SURF BUILDING THROUGH THE WEEK WITH LARGEST SURF FRIDAY AND
SATURDAY…

.A SERIES OF STORMS OVER THE NORTHERN PACIFIC WILL GENERATE
INCREASINGLY LARGER WEST-NORTHWEST SWELLS TUESDAY THROUGH THIS
WEEKEND…WITH LARGEST SURF OCCURRING FRIDAY AND SATURDAY WHEN
SETS OF 12 TO 14 FEET WILL BE POSSIBLE. THE SWELLS START TO VERY
SLOWLY LOWER LATE SATURDAY INTO SUNDAY.

CAZ042-043-082200-
/O.CON.KSGX.BH.S.0026.141209T1200Z-141214T0300Z/
ORANGE COUNTY COASTAL AREAS-SAN DIEGO COUNTY COASTAL AREAS-
556 AM PST MON DEC 8 2014

…BEACH HAZARDS STATEMENT REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT
THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING…

* WAVES AND SURF…RISING TO 4 TO 7 FEET WITH SETS TO 9 FEET
TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING…THEN INCREASING
TO 5 TO 8 FEET WITH SETS TO 10 FEET WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON
THROUGH THURSDAY…THEN RISING FURTHER TO 7 TO 10 FEET WITH 12
TO 14 FOOT SETS FRIDAY THROUGH EARLY SATURDAY.

* TIMING…SURF CONTINUALLY BUILDING TUESDAY THROUGH LATE
THURSDAY…WITH HIGHEST SURF FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY.

* TIDES…HIGH TIDES OF 4 TO 5 FEET DURING THE LATE MORNING
HOURS EACH DAY.

* IMPACTS…THE HIGH SURF AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS WILL RESULT IN
DANGEROUS SWIMMING CONDITIONS. WAVES MAY OVER-TOP JETTIES AND
SEA WALLS AT TIMES. SOME WAVES MAY WASH INTO LOW-LYING BEACH
AREAS AT TIMES. WAVES MAY PRODUCE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS TO
SMALL CRAFT WITHIN THE SURF ZONE. SIGNIFICANT BEACH EROSION IS
POSSIBLE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A BEACH HAZARDS STATEMENT FOR A HIGH SURF OUTLOOK MEANS THAT HIGH
SURF CONDITIONS MAY OCCUR WITHIN THE NEXT 3 TO 5 DAYS. HIGH SURF
PRODUCES HAZARDOUS SWIMMING AND SURF ZONE CONDITIONS.

JT

What are your thoughts:

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36th Annual Corona del Mar Christmas Walk & Holiday Festival 2014

36th Christmas Walk & Holiday Festival

This is the weekend! Set some time aside on Sunday 12/7/2014 to enjoy the 36th Annual Corona del Mar Christmas Walk & Festival. The activities start at 11:00 A.M. and continue through 4:00 P.M.

Below is a summary of the planned festivities as shown on the Christmas Walk Home Page:

  • Corona del Mar merchant promotions throughout Corona del Mar’s Business District
  • Live Entertainment with over 12 signature bands in strategic locations
  • The popular Fireman’s Grill BBQ provided by the NB Fire Department
  • Restaurant tastings and celebration parties.
  • Kid’s entertainment including snap shots with Santa Clause, bouncy houses, bungee jumping, holiday characters, a petting zoo and more.
  • Unique vendor exhibits in the popular vendor faire at the center stage.
  • Beer & Wine Garden located in Bandera’s Lower Parking Lot with Signature band “Pinch Me”
  • Famous Opportunity Drawing with over $15,000 worth of prizes.
  • Performances by High School and community organization

Each year “The Walk” brings together thousands of fun-loving people into the Village of Corona del Mar for live entertainment, food, prizes and games in true holiday spirit!

What are your thoughts?

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Caspers Wilderness Park ~ Only 45 minutes from Newport Beach

Escape from the frenzy of the city and enjoy the tranquility of open space and wilderness.

Sound like an overnight trip to some remote area?

Not really, Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park is only 45 minutes drive from Fashion Island in Newport Beach. It is located adjacent to the Ortega Highway (74) just a short distance outside of San Juan Capistrano.

A brief description from the Caspers Wilderness Park web site is as follows:

Caspers Wilderness Park is an 8,000 acre protected wilderness preserve nestled among the river terraces and sandstone canyons of the western coastal Santa Ana Mountains. The park’s many fertile valleys are overtly complemented by specimen groves of native Coastal Live Oak and magnificent stands of California Sycamore. These areas are further accentuated by seasonal wildflower displays and running streams. Wildlife is abundant and can be readily viewed from any of the parks numerous trails.

The other day I felt like unwinding a little and decided to explore the park with my camera.

Being new to the hiking scene, it seemed appropriate to take a short loop starting at the Old Corral Picnic area taking the Nature Loop trail to the Oak Trail, then a portion of the Star Rise Trial to the Bell Canyon Trail returning the the starting point. In all, the hike was about 3 miles in length and very easy to negotiate.

As far as abundant wild life goes, two hawks and one lizard were observed. Not exactly an African safari.

There are, however, abundant stands of old oak trees with gnarly character that provide shaded paths and interesting shadows.

Below are a few photographs taken along the trail.










What are your thoughts?

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Big surf at Little Corona del Mar Beach

Little Corona del Mar surf

This blog entry was supposed to be about exploring the tide pools at Little Corona Beach in Corona del Mar.

After reviewing tide prediction tables at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Tides & Currents web site, it seemed that a low tide of 0 feet above MLLW ( Mean Lower Low Water. The average of the lower low water height of each tidal day observed over the National Tidal Datum Epoch) would occur at about 3:30 pm on Tuesday, Oct 7, 2014. It was felt that the low tide level would present a good opportunity to photograph tide pools left at Little Corona Beach in Corona del Mar.

Beach attire adorned and photographic equipment in hand, I arrived on the beach at about 3:00 pm of the specified day. Much to my dismay there was a big surf running and all the tide pools were stirred up and murky. Only one group of people were poking around the beach exploring the tide pools. Disappointing!

It seems that over the weekend a tropical storm named “Simon” had developed just off the Baja California coast. At its peak on Saturday October 4, 2014 the hurricane had sustained wind speeds of about 130 mph spreading over a diameter of approximately 50 miles and tropical storm force winds spreading over a diameter of approximately 180 miles. These high force winds caused large ocean swells that propagated North along the California coast over the weekend and into the early part of the week.

So, instead of presenting the planned discussion and photography of the tide pools at Little Corona beach, we are left with just the above photograph of a few people peeking at murky tide pools and a nice view of the hurricane Simon resultant big surf in the background.

What are your thoughts?

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Corona del Mar Vacation Home ~ Drought Resistant Landscaping

Owners of Corona del Mar vacations homes often ask themselves how they can landscape their properties such that very little maintenance or irrigation is required.

The solution comes in the form of California drought resistant native plants. In the Corona del Mar coastal area, these plants are very tolerant of long periods without water and require very little trimming or attention.

These ground covers, shrubs, and trees come in a variety of interesting shapes which can complement any architectural style. Many bear beautifully colored flowers and foliage. Some bloom profusely throughout much of the year.

Below are shown a sampling of images from the class of specimens being described. Click on any image to view a brief description of the plant and it’s required care.

These images are being provided through the courtesy of CaliforniaGardens.com. An extensive list of plants in this class may be found on their web site drought-resistant plant page located here.

Another source for information regarding drought-resistant landscaping may be found at the University of California ~ Sonoma County Master Gardeners web page

What are your thoughts?

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