The Silver Lining Trail is the longest trail in the Preserve, stretching nearly 3 miles from near Manor Street on the west to China Grade Loop on the east side. The trail is named after a beloved horse owned by Carolyn Belli, one of the founding members of the Panorama Visa Preserve. In fact, rides through the area with Silver Lining are what inspired Carolyn to want to preserve the area for everyone to enjoy.
Along the Silver Lining Trail, you can walk through the upper terrace terrain, with salt bush and native grasses, as well as the lower terrace, with cottonwoods, willow, and elderberry. Several spots along the trail provide views of the Kern River.
You can access the Silver Lining Trail from the Kern River Parkway bike path at the base of the Panorama Bluffs, either by hiking down the bluffs or by walking along the Kern River Parkway bike path from Manor Street. You can also access it from China Grade Loop, across from Darrell’s Mini Storage.
Carolyn Belli on Silver Lining
photo of narrow leaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicular) is courtesy of Andy Honig
Panorama Vista Preserve is proud to have been chosen to participate in a program funded by a grant from the California Wildlife Conservation Board. The Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Rescue Program will plant native milkweed and other nectar-rich plants on 50 acres of the Preserve. These plants won’t only benefit monarchs, but bees and other insects will also enjoy the plants. Monarch populations have experienced a dramatic decline in the past decade, and projects like this can help provide food and rest areas for the western monarchs during their winter migration. Board member Andy Honig has collected seeds from Bakersfield's native desert milkweed, and began planting them at the Preserve a few years ago. River Partners, which was hired in 2008 to implement restoration projects at the Preserve, is partnering with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and other nonprofit groups to plant about 600 acres statewide. Homeowners can help by planting native desert (not tropical) milkweed in their yards.
watercolor by local artist Nancy Putney of local desert milkweed (Asclepias erosa) Asclepias subulata is also known as desert milkweed.
photo courtesy of Peter Wollesen
We have two college students who have recently joined us as Interns. One is a graduate student at Cal State University Los Angeles who at this time is doing on-line classes in Environmental Sciences. This intern is interested in hands on experiences both in the real world and to add to their resumes. Their focus for future employment is either in Habitat Restoration or Wildlife Rehabilitation.
Our second Intern is a sophomore at Bakersfield College who is majoring in forestry. This intern is receiving class credit for their participation at the Preserve. Their plan is to transfer to Cal State University Bakersfield and after graduation pursue employment in Environmental Management.
A nursery is a term which usually causes us to think of a space in a hospital or recently remodeled room in a house to make newborns more comfortable and protect them while they adjust to the harsh environment they have been brought into. The nursery at the Preserve is meant for the same purpose but the newborns are native plants being started for projects in our groves.
We remodeled and upgraded our nursery a while back with shade cloth supported by galvanized metal poles and eleven (three just recently added) commercial nursery tables. Last year this enabled us to grow out over 1000 new plants.
We have three ways that we propagate these plants. We use cuttings which is taking a small stick from a mother plant and having it root in either water or a planting mix. By this method we grow cottonwood, buttonbush, mulefat (a flowering shrub), and three types of willows (arroyo, red and sandbar).
A second means of propagation is layering which we use to cultivate new native blackberry from plants on the Preserve. This is when a branch or cane from the parent plant grows out to touch the ground and sends down roots. You simply cut the branch and have a new plant.
The third means of propagation is with seeds. From this method we start sycamore, valley oak, Oregon ash, box elder, bladderpod, salt bush, honey mesquite, and quail bush.
We recently met and started this year’s plantings. We hope to generate at least 1200 plants which will be used to backfill different planting in groves on the Preserve.
We have a new website! Please visit us at www.PanoramaVista.org and share our website with friends who might be interested in learning more about the Preserve.
photo courtesy of Bill Lydecker
Wood Ducks of the Panorama Vista Preserve
In 2009 the Tulare Basin Wetlands Association placed 16 wood duck boxes along the Kern River at Panorama Vista Preserve. The boxes were installed to protect the Wood Duck hen while nesting and her chicks, when they hatch, from predators. It took three years before the first successful nesting in the wood duck boxes; that year 28 chick fledglings left the nest. Annually, since then there has been increasing numbers of chicks successfully hatched numbering between 74 to 110 or 651 chicks in all..
Each year Ken Barton, the Wood Duck Coordinator with the Tulare Basin Wetlands Association, comes to the Preserve to check, clean, repair boxes as needed, and make a count of the wood ducklings born. Wood duck hens begin nesting in late March, April and May. The ducklings usually fledge within six to eight weeks after being hatched. By the time the ducklings fledge, a homing instinct is instilled in the hen ducklings such that they will return to the area where they learned to fly. The hen will choose the nesting site, the male of the pair will accompany the female. Wood ducks do not migrate like other ducks. Mr. Barton says these “foothill woodies” will probably remain in the Kern River area within 40 miles of their birth place.
Ken Barton maintaining the wood duck nesting boxes at PVP
Photo courtesy of Peter Wollesen
Native Plants of the PVP
Even after one of the driest winters in memory, the bladderpod bush is an eager early bloomer in the Panorama Vista Preserve and throughout drier areas of Southern California. This hardy perennial, known by its scientific name Cleome Isomeris, forms a dense shrub that can grow to about 6 feet or so. It is a favorite for many pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Of course, its most distinctive feature is its inflated, balloon-like fruit that give the plant its name. The seed pods vary in shape from region-to-region. Here at the Panorama Vista Preserve, the fruit is generally globular, but in other areas in Southern California the fruit can be more elongated, sometimes even looking more like a long, bloated pea pod.
The bladderpod is also quite fragrant, but there is apparently much disagreement as to whether the fragrance is pleasant or foul. What do you think?
photo courtesy of Peter Wollesen
Points of Historical Interest- Beardsley Canal
The Beardsley Canal, constructed in about 1875, originates at the Kern River just east of the Preserve. It continues west, running along the northern boundary of the Preserve, through Oildale, and eventually turns northwest and continues toward Famoso.
The canal was named for Lewis A. Beardsley. Beardsley was a New Yorker who, like many others, came to California around 1850 in search of gold. He later became a teacher in Tulare County, then in Glennville, and then to Kern, where he was superintendent from 1874 to 1877.
Beardsley homesteaded three miles north of Bakersfield along with other pioneers such as Jasper Wilson. Beardsley and other men built the canal to irrigate their lands. In 1877, E.M. Roberts built irrigation ditches leading to the small ranches in the area.