The Holler is surrounded by thousands of empty acres.
It has many oak groves, and permanent and seasonal creeks running through it.
900 of these acres are set aside as a permanent nature preserve, and many more 1000’s of acres are still free from human development.
There are no hiking trails or public access, but we live adjacent to the preserve and hike it several times a week.
The Holler was first settled in the 1890’s and consisted of 2,700 acres. It was a working ranch for much of its history. Crumbling fences and old ranch dirt roads remain. We hike the dirt roads, and game trails, which are everywhere.
This is the lower pasture below our house, and this is where we access the preserve.
Since people are not here, The Holler is full of wildlife and has an entirely different feel from hiking in parks that people frequent. This natural ecosystem is unique for over-developed Southern California.
We see oodles of tracks, coyotes, bobcat, cougar, raccoon, but no deer. There are no deer because there are too many predators for them to survive. There are lots of kill sites and bones scattered around, but I will spare you photos of these, even though I have them.
And of course there are hundreds of birds! Cheers to you from the still wild Holler~
I love The Holler Spa! First of all, they have an all you can eat buffet which I take full advantage of!
You get to swim in the spa pools, for as long as you want!
Few things feel better than being well fed and well bathed.
I especially like soaking my tail, it needs the extra moisture.
I could also use a manicure, but they don’t offer that here, which is a significant demerit.
But, there is nothing quite like a sunny day at The Holler Spa!
Unfortunately, they let the riff-raff in, like this very pushy thrasher.
The even more really-rude-roadrunner, thinks he belongs on the owner’s table!
The snobby goldfinch is so annoying. She is over prized by the owners, only because she scarcely ever bothers to show up here!
It’s a good spa, but the management could use some improvement.
Cheers to you from The Holler spa~
I’ve told you before, The Holler is ‘for the birds.’
And this is just how we like it!
Check out the cheeky, chirpy ones.
The beep-beep felt like a photo-op today,
and even forgot to run away!
He actually posed and beeped, vain meeper!
The mocking bird was in modeling mode, although still a very coy boy.
Cheers to you from The Holler and the world’s best neighbors~
The Holler always has drop in visitors. This is a quite large Southern Alligator Lizard species, scientific name, Elgaria multicarinata, who popped by to say hi!
The Holler has room for all sorts of critters, including LOADS of lizards.
This guy is around 20 inches in length.
My husband thinks he is bigger, and he may be right, because The Holler, as I may have mentioned to you before, is a very strange place. Do you notice him giving me the stink eye?
These aptly named “alligator” lizards will stand their ground and bite and latch on if threatened. I know this because they did it to me when I was a little kid. They have a hook in their upper palate that enables them to hold fast once they have bitten, errrr……something.
I have made it a practice, since I grew up, not to threaten lizards named after alligators. This guy was chillin’ in our garage. The Holler has lots and lots of different types of limber lizards who are not the least bit leery of us. These lascivious lizards are always busy making new little lizards!
Cheers to you from The Holler and it’s languorous lusty Lizards~
It is finally raining at The Holler even though we are still in the midst of the worst recorded drought in California history.
The rain isn’t nearly enough, but at least it will keep the hawks alive for awhile.
I am unable to adequately describe the hawks, I love them so.
Words fail, photos make due.
Hawks are my friends here.
So glad we moved to this iffy place, one of Southern California’s last remaining wild spaces.
The Holler is built on a mountain with an empty valley below. Hawks often fly at our eye level or below, allowing us to look down on them as they soar. Normally hawks fly high, above us all.
I suspect we all need to live this way, wild and free, and above it all.
Cheers to you from the indescribably free Holler Hawks~
The wild critters seem happy we are back at The Holler. They staged quite the homecoming! Even Wiley E. came out in broad daylight, sashayed by, and winked at me and I have the pic to prove it!
Look how fat and healthy he is! I don’t even want to think about what he’s been eating. He’s not too shy is he?
And what big teeth you have Mr. Coyote! This is a different Wiley. Possibly a Willette. We have lots and lots of Wileys and Willettes at The Holler.
Beep Beep is always content snooping around us. He is a hobbyist human watcher. He doesn’t even pay attention to Wiley E….. Smart Beeper.
The shy little woodpecker even dropped by to say hello!
After six years I have finally learned to make a credible hawk call. I called, they came. Or maybe they were just flying by. But I think they respond to my call and it confuses the ravens too. They keep looking for the hawk on the ground!
And of course The Holler Hummers. I miss them so much when I am away.
Europe is incredible but they don’t have Wileys or Beeps or Hummers. Wild animals just make the very best neighbors. I like having them on my HOA!
And The Holler? Well it is rural, rustic, and in a horrible drought, but even so, it is awful purty.
Cheers to you from all the happy Holler critters~
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