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Hikes with Poetry

​Hikes with Poetry in Search of a Deeper Sense of Place ​Sonoma County - April 2019

Apr 4, 2019

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On each of these hikes you’ll get to know some of the wild plants and their uses, and you’ll learn some of the ways different cultures have interacted with the plants and habitats of the area. Then we’ll consider some of the ways we might connect crafts and culture with habitat repair in order to sustain and celebrate native plants and habitats into the far future.

 

DAVE & SUE ASK YOU TO CREATE A POEM ABOUT A TRAIL OR PARK IN SONOMA COUNTY 

 What inspires you to visit a trail or site again and again? Is it the way fog fills the valleys on a summer morning? Is it the silouette of large oak trees at sunset? The way the grasses ripple in the ocean breeze? A certain flower or a set of flowers gracing the shoulder of a hill? The chance drumming and calls of a pileated woodpecker. Or the promise of fresh mud, which might hold the prints of a passing coyote or mountain lion.

Capture a bit of your inspiration in a poem, then email it to “SenseofPlace@placecraft.net“, include your name, a title, location that inspired it, and attach an optional photo or a few if you wish. We’ll share many of the poems in the blog below, and we’ll also gather them into an eBook, to be released later this spring.


Sponsored by California Poets in the Schools as part of the2019 Sonoma Poetry Festival, celebrating National Poetry Month - April 2019


Sunday 4/7 Healdsburg Ridge, Healdsburg, 10am-1
Starts at the east end of Arabian Way, Healdsburg (
Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve). An easy 2.2 mile loop thru grassland and oak woodland, with botanist, ecologist & story-teller Dave Self. At the top of the ridge, we’ll take a little time during lunch to write poems (or write yours later) about your connections to the plants, place - trail. Bring food, water and a notebook.

Friday 4/12 Pine Flat Rd and Red Hill, ​CANCELLED due to landslide & road closure.

Sunday 4/14Helen Putnam Regional Park, Petaluma, 10am-1
Starts at the far end of parking lot at the entrance off of Chileno Valley Road at Armstrong. We’ll make an easy 2.2 mile loop thru grassland and oak woodland, with botanist, ecologist & story-teller Dave Self. We’ll stop at a high point with views, for lunch and to take a little time to write poems (or write yours later) about your connections to the plants, place - trail. Bring food, water and a notebook.

Saturday 4/20 Roseland NeighborWood, Roseland Noon-2pm
Starts by the abandoned house (1027 Mcminn Avenue, Santa Rosa) at the northeast corner of the NeighborWood, parking on the street there. We’ll take a casual stroll around the site with botanist, ecologist & story-teller Dave Self to see what native plants we can find. During lunch we’ll take a little time to write poems (or write yours later) about your connections to the plants, place - and the NeighborWood. Bring food, water and a notebook.

Saturday 4/27Clover Springs Preserve, Cloverdale, 10am-1
Starts on the edge of the Preserve at the west end of Skyview Drive, Cloverdale. Be prepared for a moderate 2.8 mile loop thru the Preserve with botanist, ecologist & story-teller Dave Self. In a sunny spot, we’ll take time for lunch, visiting and to write a poem or two (or write yours later) about your connections to the plants, place - trail. Bring food, water and a notebook.

Sunday 4/28 Ragle Ranch, Sebastopol, 10am-1
Starts in the parking lot immediately north of the Entry Kiosk on Ragle Ranch Road, Sebastopol. We’ll walk the easy 2 mile outer loop with botanist, ecologist & story-teller Dave Self. In a sunny spot, we’ll take time for lunch, visiting and to write a poem or two (or write yours later) about connections to the plants, place - trail. Bring food, water and a notebook.


Submit your poem via email to “SenseofPlace@placecraft.net“, include your name, a title, location that inspired it, and attach an optional photo or a few if you wish.


 Restorying the NeighborWood

 

 

 

By David Self , 4/20/2019 Roseland, Santa Rosa, California

 

one of the neighbors

says ‘there were only a few oaks here

in the early 1960’s’

much is now a dense thicket of oaks,

tangles of poison oak and blackberry,

patches of french broom

and a dozen other

invasive garden plants

and garden remnants

and the remaining grassy area,

which ‘was a prune orchard into the 1970’s’

it’s now almost all

non-native grasses and weeds

with a scattering of

black walnuts

and a few young oaks

another neighbor

says that ‘before the prunes

the whole area was

sheep pasture

with a few scattered oaks’

this neighbor also says

‘there used to be vernal pools here

before they were filled by plow and farming,

and the creek was deepened into a ditch’

yet another neighbor

says ‘there used to be

a pomo village

a few hundred yards to the south.’

searching for native wildflowers

today,

we only find

a dozen dwarf lupine*?

what wild flowers

danced here

before sheep and plow and prunes,

when the pomo were tending the plains?

as we explore

we do find

clammy-weed* patches

an invasive plant

of the paintbrush family’

that look like

butter-and-eggs

from a distance

and I think - there should be three or four

owl’s clovers,

also paintbrush family,

including

butter-and-eggs*,

valley tassels*,

purple owls clover*

little brown ‘soft’ owls clover*

we spot

a few carrot-like

bishop-weed* flowers

and their carrot-like leaves are abundant.

I think yampa*,

a tasty native of the carrot family,

should be here,

and those

would support

caterpillars

of the native

anise swallowtail butterflies

(and I love the flavor of yampa roots, leaves and seeds).

a winter puddle spot

hosts a scattering

of prickle-seed buttercup*.

and i imagine

swaths of western* or california buttercups*

and swales of bloomer’s buttercups*

blueish gleams from an abundance

of spittlebug spittle

on the bishop-weed

make me think

baby blue-eyes*, blue-dicks*, Ithuriel’s spear*, camas*

all of which I found a few miles west

on a similar site

when I was a student

at the state university

40 years ago.

one neighbor asks

‘how many kinds of wildflowers

would have been here in the past?”

and i answer ‘maybe 150 to 200,

which is roughly how many i listed

from that other site

40 years ago.’

other wildflowers i remember

from that other site ...

mule-ears*

royal larkspur*

checker-bloom*

shooting stars*

meadow-foam*

California poppy*

pretty-face*

white wild hyacinth*

narrow-leaved milkweed*

(a monarch favorite)

a half-dozen native clovers*

and many, many others

the abundant and diverse

wildflowers

bulbs

herbs

spring greens,

of that other site

supported

butterflies,

myriad native bees

flower-flies

lizards, frogs, salamanders

ground-squirrel

badgers ...

and these wildflowers once sustained

the pomo

as food, medicines,

fibers and more

and the pomo, in turn,

helped sustain

the wildflowers

with burning,

tilling,

tending.

What might we do as neighbors

with hope, determination,

scouting, weeding,

planting and seeding?

as we,

and our children

get to know

the wildflowers

and wild flavors

once again?


(based on a walk with friends of the Roseland NeighborWood), after a workday collecting trash and removing invasive plants). Written in celebration of National Poetry Month and the Sonoma County Poetry Festival, as part of “Sense of Place Poetry Challenge”at http://placecraft.net.

Two more “Hikes with Poetry” next weekend, Saturday 4/27 in Cloverdale, Sunday in 4/28 Sebastopolhttp://www.placecraft.net/hikes-with-poetry.html

#Wildflowers,#UsefulPlants,#Ethnobotany,#Ecology,

#Herbs,#Stewardship,#EcologicalRestoration,

#ethnoecology#AppliedEthnobotany#Wildcrafting#placecraft#rewilding#Poetry#AncestralSkills#Roseland#NeighborWood#SantaRosaCA

 

 

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