The next few posts here will be from writing I did while I was away.
Yesterday I left San Francisco on Golden Gate Transit, my bike bouncing on a rack on the front of the coach for 2+ hours. One transfer and a total of 3.5 hours later, I was in Guerneville, 60 miles from the city, picking up provisions before biking the final 8 miles to my friends’ vacant house on Austin Creek. Weighted down with an onerous rucksack – full of work – I pedaled happily above the Russian River, heading west through perfectly spaced patches of afternoon sun and redwood shade. Typical of river roads, Hwy 116 is winding but mostly flat. Pulling over in some shade to adjust the groceries strapped to my bike rack, I had the fortune to hear and see two ospreys (?) tending their nest atop a redwood across the road.
Arriving at my friends’ place, I began cataloguing diversity in that neurotic way that has progressed beyond hobby to veritable tick: “Native species: Sequoia sempervirens, Polystichum munitum, Toxicodendron diversilobum, Stachys ajugoides! Non-natives: Torilis nodosa <sigh>, Hedera helix
I read myself into dreams of wild creatures, again conjuring a scene of a banana slug driving a riding lawn mowe
Partial Species List
Below is a partial species list for my friends' property. I left my flora at home so that I wouldn't spend my entire vacation puzzling over plant id, so I've only captured species that I already know. I hope to go back sometime for a complete survey ... and to control the Hedera helix. I made the list for my friends, so it's sorted for utility, not scientific publication. First by native or non-native, then plant type, then alphabetized by scientific name, though with the common name first as it's probably most useful to my friends.
Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina) - native.
Western Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum) – native.
Western Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum) - native.
Giant Horsetail (Equisetum telmateia) – native.
Big leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) native.
Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) – native.
California blackberry (Rubus urnisus) - native.
Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) – native.
Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata) – native.
Redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana) - native.
Rigid hedge nettle (Stachys ajugoides var. ajugoides) –native, endemic.
Grasses, Rushes, Sedges:
Tall Cyperus Sedge (Cyperus eragrostis) - native.
English Ivy (Hedera helix) – non-native, invasive.
Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus latifolius) – non-native, invasive.
Italian Thistle (Carduus
Cut-leaf Geranium (Geranium dissectum) non-native.
Forget-me-not (Myosotis latifolia) non-native, potentially invasive.
Western Pellitory (Parietaria judaica) non-native.
English Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) non-native, invasive.
Hedge Parsley (Torilis nodosa) non-native, invasive.
Grasses, Rushes, Sedges:
Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) – non-native, invasive.
Annual Beardgrass (Polypogon monspeliensis) non-native.