It’s hitting triple digits in Chico for the rest of the week. There’s not much to do besides swim and maybe go to see dumb air conditioned movies. Bidwell Park remains a wonder if you can go hiking in the morning. Our 3000+ acre city park begins downtown and extends towards the Sierra Nevada foothills. Upper Park, the wilder area is a jigsaw puzzle of geological formations, plant communities, and tumbling,oak and pine bordered Big Chico Creek. We have a big range of wildlife there, including mountain lions and at least one black bear, Lower park is the flatter area where Big Chico Park meanders along its floodplain rather than crashing. This is more developed but still a great place to swim, picnic, and wander.
In spring, the hills blaze with galaxies of wildflowers, and clouds of butterflies drift everywhere. Summer drought is California’s botanically unproductive time. The hills turn from green to brown, flowers are few, and the birdsongs that formed counterpoint with the creek’s roars are a lot quieter. But this is a great time to see the interplay of sun and shadow. WIldlife is still active: yesterday an acorn woodpecker and a squirrel had a screaming match, maybe over a stash of acorns. Western swallowtail butterflies’ bright yellows copy the sunlight. Western whiptail lizards and western fence lizards scurry over boulders, and red shouldered hawks cry “PEW! PEW!PEW! from hiding places. Big Chico Creek brings temperatures down, and cool breezes flash along its streamcourse. The park is as much a gem in summer as any other season. Expect more posts about it, especially as we get into autumn.
BIG CHICO CREEK AND YAHI TRAILIN SUMMER