Annual Poppy Display in the North Ranch Open Space, Thousand Oaks, on March 16, 2019

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Superbloom or no superbloom, this beautiful poppy patch off the Bowfield/Saddle Pass Trail in the North Ranch Open Space in Thousand Oaks has been blooming this time of year for years. The hills to get up here are not for everyone e.g. they are steep - but to me are worth it for this view orange beauty.

When There's Rain, There's Usually a Rainbow in the Conejo Valley

It’s been raining almost nonstop throughout Ventura County since last Thursday through today, Super Bowl Sunday and anticipated for another day or two. When there’s rain, there’s a rainbow awaiting. Here are some beauties.

Roadrunners in the Conejo Valley

The roadrunner is a chaparral bird that is a member of the cuckoo (Cuculidae) family of birds. They are found in the southwest U.S. and Mexico. These non-migratory birds live in mountainous shrubland, which is why you may seen them from time to time here in the Conejo Valley. These are great birds to have around, dining on insects (including tarantulas), snails, lizards and even rattlesnakes (because of their quickness, roadrunners are one of the few animals that dine on rattlesnakes).

Seen above is some brief footage of a roadrunner seen yesterday on Tarantula Hill and some other footage from Rancho Sierra Vista from last year.

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Conejo Creek Park North in Thousand Oaks is a Perennial Family Favorite

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On a recent visit to Conejo Creek Park North, located at 1379 East Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, we were surprised when we found dozens and dozens of koi in the lower pond area, cohabitating with the ducks.

Where did they come from? We don't know, but there are sure fun to watch.

Where did they come from? We don't know, but there are sure fun to watch.

Conejo Creek Park North is one of the nicest, widest appealing parks throughout Ventura County. You get almost everything at this park. This 44 acre park has two ponds with a stream connecting them, two separate play areas, beach-style volleyball courts, a NEOS game, multiple large, shaded picnic areas. a fitness trail about 2/3rds of a mile that circles the park, plenty of shade trees and multiple large, grassy areas. Something for everyone.

Topping it off is the fact that the park is adjacent to the beautiful Grant R. Brimhall Library, Goebel Senior Center and Thousand Oaks Teen Center. We often park at the library, check out some books, then walk, scooter or ride across a bridge to the park. It is a great way to spend the day.

Conejo Creek Park North is extremely popular for larger events on the upper grass area adjacent to the largest picnic structure. There is plenty of parking available. And in the middle of the park is a jungle-like trail area that I enjoy exploring with the kids. We also see birthday party celebrations all the time.

To learn more about Conejo Creek Park North, visit the Conejo Recreation and Park District website at www.crpd.org. To learn about other parks we enjoy in and around Ventura County, click THIS LINK.

Five Very Interesting Museums in Oxnard and Camarillo

There are over 50 museums highlighted here on Conejo Valley Guide and each and every one of them has interesting features. Here are some additional highlights from a handful of these museums located in the Oxnard / Camarillo area.

The Mullin Automotive Museum is a 47,000 square foot amazingly pristine facility in Oxnard housing over 50 French art deco cars from the 1930s and 1940s. Mullin is open to the public only a few times a month. You will be awestruck by some of the most beautiful cars you've ever seen!

The Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, known as the Camarillo Bird Museum, is a 22,000 square foot facility in a Camarillo industrial park that contains one of the largest collections of bird, bird egg and bird nest specimens in the entire world. It is open to the public only about 10 times a year.

(The Woolworth Museum items are still here, but access to the public is generally not available)

There is a vintage 1950 Woolworth building in Downtown Oxnard that has been redeveloped and now houses a restaurant and office space. But the 1st floor lobby of this 16,800 sq ft building contains a very small museum chock full of Woolworth nostalgia. This Woolworth Museum isn't large and fancy but will certainly bring back memories for you geezers out there. There is no charge to enter.

For World War II Air Force history, memorabilia and functioning aircraft, visit the Commemorative Air Force Aviation Museum located at the Camarillo Airport.  You will be treated to detailed information and history led by knowledgeable docents. You may also have an opportunity to step outside to see the aircraft directly adjacent to the runway. 

Located at the Channel Islands Harbor, the Channel Islands Maritime Museum is home to a large collection of maritime art, models and historical items. If you or your kids enjoy model ships, you will not find a better place to go than here. And the well-trained docents will be sure to impart information that is quite interesting.

Since the Woolworth Museum noted above appears to be closed, a nice addition to this list is the Pleasant Valley Historical Society Museum and Botanical Garden on Las Posas Road in Camarillo. Open only on weekends from noon to 4pm, the museum displays an assortment of vintage items and curios from the local area going back to the turn of the 20th century.

The Tunnel Beneath Gainsborough Road in Thousand Oaks, Connecting Tarantula Hill to Conejo Community Park

It is just a tunnel, but this passageway underneath Gainsborough Road between Tarantula Hill on the north and Conejo Community Park on the south provides the connection for a fun-filled day.

Tarantula Hill is the tallest peak located within Thousand Oaks, at 1,057 feet. There's a bench at the top as you enjoy the view. There's also a small, fenced-in reservoir up there. No need for trail shoes getting to the peak, as it is almost entirely paved (with the exception of the vary top of the hill, leading to the bench). You can also take a trail to near the top, directly leading to the tunnel shown above.

Conejo Community Park has a nice play area, the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden, plenty of grass and a creek that runs through the park as well as the Kids' Adventure Garden (open on Sundays only, from 11am to 3pm).

So if you’re looking for something FREE, close by and fun to do with the kids here in Thousand Oaks, this is a viable option for you.

M*A*S*H Set in Malibu Creek State Park Before and After the Woolsey Fire

Here are some scenes of the M*A*S*H set in Malibu Creek State Park in prior years (mostly March 2017, some prior older) compared to how it currently looks, six weeks after the Woolsey Fire tore through the area.  Amazed at how little damage there was to the set, given the ferocity of the flames.

Additional scenes of the MASH site post-Woolsey Fire.