by dishpantheism

have been meaning to post something here. beginning to feel neglectful.

i have been hiking. every spare moment has me in a parka and boots with my walking stick in my hand. rain or shine. i actually prefer to hike on a misty day even if it makes the trail a wee bit more treacherous. when there’s a mist everything glows. the cinnabar strewn about the mine is an unreal martian red. the serpentine glows green. there are quartz crystals near the top of the ridge and weird unidentified stones that resemble turquoise and labradorite. the toyon berries glow. the new growth of waking peonies glows. the lichen. the tender pink blood currant blossoms. the green of maidenhair ferns and the coats of deer. and so a misty ramble is the best ramble.

found a beautiful oak grove at the top of the ridge beyond the trail. in a ring of stunted oaks there was a fire pit made of the local stone all blue and green. and then another farther down the ridge. and then another. and then a giant hollow oak which had long ago been damaged by a wildfire. then a gorgeous stunted little oak that was mostly witches’ broom and mistletoe. i harvested some mistletoe and then did a happy dance.

the rain is making everything mushroom-y. all summer in a day-ish. inks and cheeses. toadstools.

went out to the shed the other day to grab an old chair. i felt like trying my hand again at rushing. my father had brought me three chairs from his cabin that were part of a set that he and my mother had bought to refinish long ago. one of the jobs my mother did to support us when i was small was rushing and caning chairs. she’s quite good. i could never get the hang of it. in any case the rush had come unraveled from these particular seats and my father thought i could at least make a go of fixing them. but when i went to retrieve one i noticed that there were only two in the shed. a mystery. i like to imagine that the missing chair trotted off in the night like some kind of winsor mccay creature. or there’s a tramp who’s using it as a makeshift toilet. (i don’t really like to imagine the latter but it did cross my mind. so there.)

i’ve had the yen to volunteer once a month at jepson herbarium. i still haven’t made that happen. soon. going to do some traveling over winter break and possibly journey south to the huntington. then maybe north to s.f. botanical garden because i’ve yet to visit that one or its lovely library. i’d also love to volunteer there. sigh. so many gardens. so little time. wouldn’t mind a trip to the alameda flea either but i’m afraid it will have to wait.

trying to find out more about the cyanotypes of anna atkins and women botanists of that period in general. making lists of plant-related books because directly after christmas my botanizing always reaches even nerdier more manic levels. it’s all the rain and exotic seed catalogs in the mail.

my county passed a new law banning plastic bags. i’m so pleased. i bought a new canvas bag to add to my growing collection of the things. moomin’s little my printed in a pouty pose on the front. one of the students saw it and said, “i like your bag.” “thanks!” said i. “it’s a grouchy librarian bag,” he said. “hey! watch it, kid!” said i. then he turned about five shades of red and laughed and hid his face and said, “i didn’t mean you! i didn’t!” but i said, “it’s okay. i am a grouchy librarian! i think that’s why i identify with that bossy, ill-tempered creature.”

i’m not very exciting these days. have some blurry iphone photos of my recent hikes. they’re more entertaining.

little falls pool

laurel roots

shadowy mere

banana slugs


above the mine

lace lichen

waking peonies

wildfire oak

fog clearing

scale fungus

more of same

lilla mu-shrooms

pixie goblets

more again

petrified cabin

more microshrooms

spider diamonds

wild bee tree

losing light



fog returning