Knowing the Best Season at the Foothills

Knowing the Best Season at the Foothills title=
View from the top of the upper west mesa
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By Julia Laraway

Walking on the foothills this afternoon heading on toward sunset, my friend and I met yet another human with a happy dog companion, who knows all the nooks and crannies of the property. He told us he had been coming to the upper mesa since he was a teenager, nigh on close to 25 plus years was my guess. We exchanged stories of how we brought our kids to the mesa, how our aged dogs loved to sniff their favorite spots, how some times of the year are much better than others and we agreed that the more people knew about the place the better off we all were, no matter how much we might want to keep it a secret.

A secret to share is that this is the very best time of year. This season, if Santa Barbara has seasons, has a modicum of rain, which turns the dust of the trails initially to mud, but the mud dries out fairly fast.  The rain in turn brings forth the green fuzz of new grass, transforming the baked, brown, gold and grey landscape into something altogether velvety and luscious. This is the season when the robins and meadowlarks nest in the grass and explode from their hiding places if a human or coyote gets too close. The season when if you are there at sunrise you are likely to see red-tailed hawks or northern harriers perched on the poles meant to delineate property lines, but the birds know better. This is the season where it can be howling wind one day and a gentle breeze the next, but no matter what, this season is infinitely better than the fall when the temperatures hover in the 90 to 100 degree range on a regular basis. 

This February day all the islands are faded lilac shadows on the horizon, and the air is fresh. We want the secret that is the foothills to be known by as many people as possible because there is room for everyone here now while there aren’t houses and a road interfering with everything that makes this place so fabulous. The more we share how amazing this place is the better chance we have of buying the property from the developer who is willing to sell. Introduce your friends to this best place in this, its very best season. SHARE what you love. THIS is the season.

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a-1614554207 Feb 28, 2021 03:16 PM
Knowing the Best Season at the Foothills

We hope you are successful in finding a way to keep the property the way you have come to love. We struggled for 20 years to save the Wilcox (now Douglas Preserve). The key is finding a willing seller and the money to purchase. One way to start is to give weekend tours on the existing open trails so that the community is aware of what is there. The other key is forming a group to work together on financing. Perhaps you have already done both. It's a lovely area. Good luck in your endeavors. Miracles can and do happen when the community gets together.

Sail380 Mar 01, 2021 12:35 PM
Knowing the Best Season at the Foothills

Are the boundaries of the preserve well marked? With the recent arrests, would be a good time not to trespass on the property that is being developed.

Ksen'_Sku'_Mu' Mar 02, 2021 08:19 PM
Knowing the Best Season at the Foothills

The county website provides a general map outlining the private property areas. Just safer to stay away from the private property boundary for now. Access from other points are possible.

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