P71126Because I sometimes go to Brent’s jobs sites while in the Los Angeles area, people sometimes ask me if I see many famous actors. Well, I try to stay out of everyone’s way, so rarely see anyone at the sites. If I see anyone famous about town, I would not know it. I do not watch enough television or movies to recognize many of them.

However, I did recognize this famous actor from my childhood as the renowned Wile E. Coyote of Looney Tunes. He was just out for a stroll in Franklin Canyon Park in the Santa Monica Mountains above Beverly Hills. It happens to be one of my favorite places in the Los Angeles Area, and has an interesting history.

Even those who have never been to Franklin Canyon Park might have seen it on television and in movies. Franklin Canyon Reservoir was Myers Lake on which Opie Taylor was skipping stones on the Andy Griffith Show. It was also a pond near the Ponderosa on Bonanza, and near where Daniel Boone lived, and on various far away planets on Star Trek. Even the Creature from the Black Lagoon lived there!

There are a few exotic plants that were planted there over the years, and a few that have naturalized. The familiar deodar cedars are of course exotic. So are the few coastal redwoods from farther up the coast. Yet, most of the flora of Franklin Canyon Park is native, and shows what the Santa Monica Mountains were like before the surrounding area became so developed. Large sycamores and cottonwoods live in the riparian area at the bottom of the Canyon. The upper slopes and ridges are much more open, with smaller trees and all sorts of scrub. There were a few toyons, which are also known as ‘California holly’ scattered about. I can not help but wonder if there were more of them decades ago when Hollywood(land) was named after them. I know that there is now more vegetation than there was when fires burned the area more frequently, and some plants are less competitive than others. It is fascinating nonetheless. Sometimes, it can be difficult to imagine that there was ever anything natural in Los Angeles. I am sorry that I have no better pictures.

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