Inspiration in Our Canyons

If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than our neighborhood canyons as the colors of Spring wash across the land. Whether you are inclined towards art, science, or spirituality, the magic of the canyons is there to inspire.

For the scientifically inclined, our canyons are islands of biodiversity that contain an amazing array of rare and unusual plants and animals, many of which are found no where else on earth. They are part of what is called the Coastal Sage Scrub and Chaparral Ecoregion. This ecoregion is high in species that live only here (endemic species) as well as high in the total number of species (biodiversity). In fact, it contains more rare, threatened, and endangered species than any comparable land area in the continental U.S. Believe it or not, there have been very few scientific investigations of our canyons, so the actual number of rare species in most canyons is unknown. Two plant species common in our canyons but very rare in the world are the scrub oak and the wart stemmed ceanothus. For photos and further description of these and other plants that inhabit our canyons, Click Here.

For the artistically inclined, the often bright colors, the rugged landscapes, and intricate textures can be a source of endless creativity. In the late 1800s and early 1900s San Diego experienced a renaissance of landscape painting inspired by our canyons and other local landscapes. A quick list of well known artist from that period include: Anni Von Westrum Baldaugh (1881 - 1953), Maurice Braun (1877 - 1941), Charles A. Fries (1854 - 1940), Alice E. Klauber (1871 - 1951), and Alfred R Mitchell (1888 - 1972). These Plein Air, or outdoor painters used a variety of styles but our local landscapes seemed to mostly inspire impressionism. So, go get your easel and find that perfect canyon scene to paint! For some examples of the paintings inspired by our native landscapes, please Click Here.

For the spiritually inclined, our canyons offer a place to relax, meditate, and to make a connection with the natural world. The unique beauty of our canyon landscapes and the quiet, hidden places abuzz with life are perfect for calming the mind and spirit. There is a branch of psychology that deals exclusively with the connection and interaction between nature and the human spirit; it is called, ecopsychology (see and Although probably the least tangible quality of our canyons, the positive affect the canyons have on our quality of life and our psychological and spiritual health is perhaps the most important.
So go, take a walk in our canyons and see what is there for you. These special places are filled with wondrous things to please the eye as well as the imagination. They provide peaceful places to escape from the craziness of city life, and can offer endless amounts of inspiration, no mater what your personal inclination.


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