I would like to share two stories. The first happened earlier today – I helped a native woman named Donna cut wood from sp. Sambucus to make clapper sticks, instruments that are used during Native American ceremonies. I clipped stalks and segmented them for her. Apropos of my previous posts where I wrote about the cultural resources that nature provides. In return, human land use affects how the natural resources are replenished. In writing a few plant guides here at the PMC, I have been fortunate enough to come across the book Tending the Wild by M. Kat Anderson. In it, Kat talks about indigenous land management and how Native Americans used to cut plants to collect resources. Where a young pad was harvested from a prickly pear cactus, two pads would grow. Cutting old deergrass stimulated abundant new vegetation to be used for basketry materials, clearing dead material and activating new growth. The same goes for burning fields and reminds me of the fire adapted plants of the tallgrass prairie in my home-state of Illinois. Frequently disturbed plants are not damaged, but rejuvenated – I was glad to take part in that experience with Donna.
Secondly, I visited Mia at the BLM Mother Lode Field Office yesterday! Mia is a fellow CLM Intern that I got in touch with earlier in our internships, and I finally made it out to help her with SOS seed collection: a BLM/NRCS collaboration, you might say. We drove to a Pine Hill Preserve parcel and collected yerba santa (Eriodictyon californicum) seeds. It was nice to chat about our internships, careers, and interests. After collecting as much as we could, we made a small hike over to an area with a newly described sedge, Carex xerophila. After we found it, we took coordinates to keep for record. The rest of our time was spent on the highest peak in Pine Hill and then back in Mother Lode. Unfortunately ArcGIS wasn’t cooperating but what can you do? I’ll be sure to invite Mia to the Lockeford PMC to help us with planting in the fall!
Until next time,