From late fall to early spring is one of my favorite times of year to get out and explore the enchanting hidden places on misty Sonoma County mountainsides.
The Buck-Eye Tree is a kind of horse chestnut (genus Aesculus) native to Northern California, and was an important source of food for the local Pomo, Wappo and Miwok peoples of the North Bay. You can see them all over the hillsides growing harmoniously amongst the oaks and madrone. These particular trees live in the rugged western foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains above Jimtown and the Alexander Valley.
Ref: Audubon Society, 404 Mendocino Av., 707-546-7492.