Welcome to Hikerweb!

My first post is of a few photos I took while going for a quick afternoon hike in San Roque Canyon near Santa Barbara, CA.

 

Coastal Oaks in San Roque Canyon

Beautiful coastal oak trees provide shade along part of the trail in San Roque Canyon. Not far from this spot are mortars ground into the boulders by the native Chumash Indians. The bowl shaped mortars provided the Chumash with a means to grind acorns, taken from the oak trees.

Cathedral and Arlington peaks in the distance

Field of poison hemlock

As I started hiking, I couldn’t help but notice being surrounded at times by the highly toxic plant poison hemlock (Conium maculatum). A “Tea”  made from this plant was used in ancient Greece as a form of execution, it is reportedly the method which killed famed philosopher Socrates. Not surprisingly a very small amount of this plant, if ingested, can be fatal. It is a good idea to learn to identify it just for this reason. Poison hemlock is not a native to North America, but was introduced from Europe and is now considered an invasive species.  It is similar in appearance to the even more lethal native water hemlock (Cicuta spp.). Neither poison hemlock or water hemlock are related to the evergreen hemlock tree (Tsuga spp.) which does actually make a pleasant tea.

Close up of poison hemlock "umbrella"

Trail heading down San Roque Canyon

 

 

One thought on “Welcome to Hikerweb!

  1. Michelle

    The Poison Hemlock reminds me a lot of Queen Anne’s Lace / Wild Carrot (Daucus carota). Don’t want to mix them up!

    Reply

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