Capitancillos Native Plant Walk: California Poppies
This cache series follows a Native Plant Walk near the Guadalupe Creek along Capitancillos Drive. This is in a quiet neighborhood, so please be thoughtful. The cache is basically a drive-up, although we encourage you to stroll along the entire street and enjoy the native beauty around you. When searching, please watch where you step to avoid trampling young plantings. This cache is a small lock-tight box, camo'd.
Pat Pizzo transformed a run-of-the mill public right-of-way into an amazing native plant demonstration garden. He's, cared for, planted ~and labeled~ hundreds of California native trees, shrubs, bulbs, and flowers. This work features plantings typical of a chaparral plant community. Such plants have the virtues of being drought tolerant and disease resistant. Impressive boulders line the planted area, which is attractively mulched to conserve water. You'll see native oaks, lovely manzanitas, long flowering mimulus shrubs (aka Sticky Monkey Flower), fragrant salvias, soap root plants, and many more. Pat and a small group of volunteers maintain the plantings, including hand watering during the summer. You may see Pat, a man with a genial open smile, as you stroll along the walk. There is a “digital story” about the project on Google Maps: Capitancillos Native plant Walk
This cache celebrates Pat’s work and vision, and is dedicated to the California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), the official state flower for California since 1890. When the first Spanish explorers saw vast fields of blooming poppies, they named the area Tierra del Fuego – Land of Fire. The densely flowered fields looked like they were on fire! Poppies are easy to grow and fun flowers to have in the garden as you can watch them fold up at dusk. When the flowers ripen, they turn into long, needle-shaped seedheads. When sufficiently dry, the seedheads suddenly pop open, scattering the small round seeds over several feet (hence, the name “poppy”). The seeds look a lot like the ones you get in muffins.
Initial contents of the cache include a first-to-find pair of poppy socks and a dozen or so small packets of poppy seeds to plant in your yard or scatter in a convenient meadow (one per household, please). It would be nice, though not strictly necessary, to keep trading to the native plant theme, or more broadly, an ecology theme. Kindly refrain from putting oversize goods or broken plastic toys in the cache - that is much appreciated!