Apr 4, 2019
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.
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.
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
and a few young oaks
says that ‘before the prunes
the whole area was
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
we only find
a dozen dwarf lupine*?
what wild flowers
before sheep and plow and prunes,
when the pomo were tending the plains?
as we explore
we do find
an invasive plant
of the paintbrush family’
that look like
from a distance
and I think - there should be three or four
also paintbrush family,
purple owls clover*
little brown ‘soft’ owls clover*
a few carrot-like
and their carrot-like leaves are abundant.
I think yampa*,
a tasty native of the carrot family,
should be here,
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 ...
white wild hyacinth*
(a monarch favorite)
a half-dozen native clovers*
and many, many others
the abundant and diverse
of that other site
myriad native bees
lizards, frogs, salamanders
and these wildflowers once sustained
as food, medicines,
fibers and more
and the pomo, in turn,
What might we do as neighbors
with hope, determination,
planting and seeding?
and our children
get to know
and wild flavors
(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
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