"A comprehensive, thoroughly researched, and deeply felt guide to one of the world's most beautiful and varied regions. Santa Barbara and the neighboring counties of San Luis Obispo and Ventura comprise a transitional zone where the plants and animals of Northern California mix with those of the south, creating diverse and dynamic habitats. Lucid explications of the geological and ecological forces that continue to shape and reshape the area are interspersed with personal accounts, as the author delights in the salty breath of a two-hundred-ton whale near the Channel Islands, the antics of beach hoppers along the shoreline, the explosion of wildflowers on the Carrizo Plain, memories of exploring the chaparral with her father, excursions into oak woodlands, and hikes to lofty peaks and canyons cloaked with pinyon pine and juniper. Enhanced with ample, specially commissioned photographs, maps, and charts, this book will broaden our understanding and deepen our enjoyment of a unique and constantly surprising region."--Back cover.
Illustrated by Peter Gaede.