The Holler is surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine, reserved-riparian backcountry habitat. One such nearby preserve is the 737 acre Wilderness Gardens that we visit often for hiking and picnicking.
(Please click to enlarge).
The area was home to Luiseno Indians for thousands of years and grinding stones can be found with a careful eye. Today the preserve is located between the present day Pala and Pauma Indian Reservations.
Settlers moved into the area in the 1800’s, and a grist mill was built in 1881.
In the 1950’s, the publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News bought the property and filled it with flowers and gardens, including 1000 Camellia trees, his wife’s favorite flower.
The ponds were created by damming the creek to provide irrigation for his gardens.
The preserve has returned mostly to it’s natural state, but the ponds remain and are filled with beautiful, nesting, aquatic birds, some quite exotic.
The first ducklings have hatched!
Beautiful evidence of the old gardens remain.
Soon the nesting bird’s broods will be hatching, and it is always a thrill to see the fluffy hatchlings venture out for their first pond swim. I’ll try and get you some snaps!
Cheers to you from the always peaceful and quite Zen-like, Wilderness Gardens Preserve.