Friday, June 18, 2010

Long Way Home—Hiking Loma Alta Ridge

I take the long, long way home via Nicasio.
Hike Loma Alta ridge above George Lucas's place—
the reservoir comes right to the foot of the complex.
But now the creek's dry. How is this a good thing?
Lucas's lordship over the native fish and terrapin:
he liveth here and blithely taketh away
from those who live downstream.
There is water in the creek—at August levels
but it's mid-June and we had a late rainy season.
Already the pond scum is matting the surface—
too warm for the fish who summer over in deep pools.

Mariposa tulip, and Marin dwarf flax

Farewell to Spring (clarkia)

Mariposa tulip

We have an ID! Calycadenia multiglandulosa, aka Sticky western rosinweed !

It could be Marin dwarf flax (Hesperolinon congestum) but there's also California dwarf-flax (Hesperolinon californicum). Anybody want to make a guess? Botanist Brett McDougall says it's California dwarf-flax. 1) Leaves are alternate and threadlike with well developed stipule glands, 2) Pedicels are short, 3) Flowers are white to partly pink, 4) Anthers white to rose, 5) Ovary chambers are white, 6) Correct range for plant on coastal ranges of serpentine base. He gave me the same link I had used: Jepson herbarium
Itherial's spears (brodiaea)

As I ascend the ridge, ravens circle & greet,
tree swallows flit amid godeta,
Mariposa lilies & Itheriel's spears—
I chant Blake's Tyger Tyger with each step.

Invasive milk thistle

The sky draws a little nearer to the earth.
Elephant Mountain is a Ukiyo-e of mist and fog.
A tiny brush-covered spring nourishes
late spring flowers banded in yellow,
magenta & lavender, along the seepage—
a painted band of tidytips, clarkia & poppies.

Bush monkeyflower and scarlet ribbons (clarkia).

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?

From the ridge above Big Rock,
I see a a worker leaving the compound—
a pickup stalls at the guardhouse—
to live in Lucas' walled city
nestled in our childhood hills,
is a sacrilege.

* *

See also Hiking up Big Rock Ridge

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