Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains. It was a hot and sunny day, and the trails went along acres and acres of dry grassland filled with hoppy grasshoppers. (After waiting patiently and snapping dozens of shots of grasshoppers in the grass, the one pictured below just decided to hitch a ride on my husband. He seems to attract whatever we're stalking.)
We also spied butterflies and a few birds and lizards, though not too many flowers and such. It was fun to see lots of visitors on horseback, too, although it left some of the paths a little stinky.
The park also has a permanent Western Town, where Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman and Carnivale were filmed, along with many other films and television episodes, including Firefly and The X-Files. Just about all the buildings were boarded up, unfortunately, so there wasn't much to do there...and I left my calico dress at the cleaners. Overall, this wasn't a very big park (at least this part of it), but still well worth a visit--the paths meander nicely, and I'd love to go back in the spring when it's cooler and more things are in bloom. Being here on a summer's day meant that we heard the pleasant droning of insects in the brush, though, as well as the wind rustling through the dry grass.
Speaking of calico, between the dusty western town and the dry land and the insects, I kept thinking about poor Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family and the grasshopper plague that wiped out their Minnesota wheat crop. All that was missing from our walk today were swarms of giant blackbirds.