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Summer Solstice Walkabout at Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve

June 24, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm


Photo: Australian bottle tree  (Brachychiton rupestris) at Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve

Please note: This event is presented by the Conservation Endowment Fund (CEF), stewards of Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve. They are handling all registrations. To register for the event, please visit TaftGardens.org or email taftgardensvisitors@gmail.com

Registrants will receive an email from CEF with detailed directions. Please do not try to find the venue by using other maps or GPS. Allow plenty of time to find the venue and to make your way up the miles-long driveway.

Please join me, Ojai author-naturalist Lanny Kaufer, for a Summer Solstice Walkabout at Taft Gardens and Nature Preserve on Saturday, June 24 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. “Walkabout” is an Australian term for a temporary return to traditional Aboriginal life, taken especially between periods of work or residence in modern society and usually involving a period of travel through the bush. That is what I have planned for you in observance of the summer solstice. We will take a break from modern life for 3 hours to experience Nature as our own aboriginal ancestors did, although for a much shorter time than the traditional Australian journey and as a group instead of solo.

Our walkabout will begin in the Australian section of the Gardens and make its way through the wild plant communities in the Nature Preserve to the Four Directions Circle, a replica of a Native American medicine wheel on a mesa with a 360 degree view. There we will greet the Summer Solstice Sun and the four directions as we reconnect with our own aboriginal origins.

The Four Directions Circle at Taft Nature Preserve. Photo: Alexandra Nicklin

As I do on my monthly Natural History walks at the Taft Ranch, I will identify and discuss useful plants and observe birds and animal signs in the context of the local ecology. My intention is to create a space for people to connect with the natural world by learning the language of Nature.

A project of the nonprofit Conservation Endowment Fund, Taft Gardens and Nature Preserve was described for years as one of Ojai’s best-kept secrets. Not anymore! This botanical gem was featured last year in an L. A. Times article on “The 16 Most Beautiful and Inviting Public Gardens in Southern California” and recently included in the RedBook Magazine list of “The 12 Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens in the United States.” 

Lanny Kaufer has been leading herb walks and nature hikes, as well as foraging and medicinal plant workshops, since 1976, focusing on ethnobotany, the academic term for the human uses of plants. He is the author of Medicinal Herbs of California, published by Falcon Guides in December of 2021 and now in its third printing. Kaufer is the founder and director of the Ojai Herbal Symposium, returning the weekend of November 11-12, 2023. Read more about him at this page.

To register for the event, please visit TaftGardens.org or email taftgardensvisitors@gmail.com.


June 24, 2023
9:00 am - 12:00 pm


Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve
Ojai, CA 93023 United States
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Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve
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