Nature Walk in Ojai

A full moon rising over Topa Topa Bluffs.

Supermoon Sunset Nature Walk led by local naturalist Lanny Kaufer in March was a great success except for one thing: clouds on the eastern horizon obscuring the view of the moonrise. In the eternal quest for perfection, Kaufer said he will again lead a full moon hike on April 18 at 5:30 p.m.

The exact moment of the full moon will occur at 4:12 a.m. on Friday, April 19, making Thursday night’s moon the closest to fullness. The sun will set at 7:31 p.m., which is the target time to be at a vista point overlooking the beautiful Ojai Valley (Valley of the Moon).

The group will meet at the Park-and-Ride lot downtown between 5:15 and 5:30 p.m. and carpool to the trail head to minimize the crowded parking situation. From there, the group will walk 3/4 of a mile to the vista point, stopping along the way to identify valuable native plants including coastal sagebrush, purple sage, toyon and elderberry.

After witnessing the setting of the sun and rising of the full moon, the "moonwalkers" will head back to the trail head with the remaining daylight, moonlight, and flashlight, returning to the Park-and-Ride by 8:30 p.m.

From there, all over 21 are invited to join Kaufer for beverages, appetizers or dinner at Ojai Valley Brewery where brewmaster Jeremy Haffner has created lager-style craft beers and ales using local plants seen on the trail.

His brews change with the seasons and reflect the plants of Ojai. At the March gathering, he was serving Chaparral Ale bittered with sagebrush and sage instead of the usual hops; New Moon Oat Stout brewed with wild oat grass; and Sugar Bush IPA flavored with local sumac berries.

Space is limited. Please visit HerbWalks.com to register, or call 805-646-6281 for more information.

Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News. 

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