People don't describe
what they see,
they see what they can describe
Several months after Huell Howser completed the chaparral episode for this popular public television show, California's Green, he called us up. He said, "I've been filming our show up and down the state for the past few months, and you know what I've seen? Chaparral! It's everywhere! I had no idea." When you bought your last car, did you notice, all of a sudden, that the same model seemed to be everywhere? When you become familiar with something, you're able to identify it almost automatically. The same goes for chaparral. Once you know it exists and learn its various types, you'll notice it everywhere. For the basic description of what chaparral is, please see our introductory page. To explore the wonderful variety chaparral exhibits, we would like to share the photos below. Enjoy!
International Mediteranean-type Shrublands
Other Shrubland Ecosystems
For a number of reasons, shrubland ecosystems have been delegated as second-class environments (or worse) when compared to forests or grasslands. In the past, forests provided cover, grasslands a place to hunt. Forests can be lumbered; grasslands can be grazed. But shrublands? They have often been seen as the stuff that gets in the way of the forester or the rancher. With chains dragged between tractors, abuse by fire, and the application of herbicides, humans have attempted to remove shrubs from the landscape. Such shortsighted approaches to land management have usually resulted in dire consequences for the natural environment. It's time to rethink our attitudes about the ecosystem in-between, an ecosystem that provides incredibly diverse habitats for the majority of animal life in many regions. It's time to learn to appreciate the value of the shrubs!
"People don't describe what they see, they see what they can describe."
- James Flaherty