San Gabriel Mountains Presentation

Plant Exploring in the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 @7:30 p.m. at the Arcata Masonic Lodge

From the California Native Plant Society North Coast Chapter:

Explorer, writer, and educator Michael Kauffmann will lead us on a journey into the Transverse Ranges of southern California to explore the world of what John Muir called the steepest mountains in which he ever hiked. Michael’s explorations began because of a Bigcone Douglas-fir mapping and monitoring project he is leading in conjunction with California Native Plant Society, but these studies have allowed him to make more discoveries–from one of the world’s largest oaks to the most isolated grove of Sierra junipers in the world. Michael will take us on a photographic journey from the mountain tops to the river canyons across one of the nation’s newest national monuments.

San Gabriel Mountains

The Cry of the Wilderness (and C. nootkatensis)

Original Publication DATE: 10/27/2012

“Wilderness has a deceptive concreteness at first glance.  The difficulty is that while the word is a noun it acts like an adjective.  There is no specific material object that is wilderness.  The term designates a quality ( as the ‘-ness’ suggests) that produces a certain mood or feeling in a given individual and, as a consequence, may be assigned by that person to specific place.  Because of this subjectivity a universally acceptable definition of wilderness is elusive.  One man’s wilderness may be another’s roadside picnic… Wilderness, in short, is so heavily freighted with meaning of a personal, symbolic, and changing kind as to resist easy definition.”
                  —Wilderness and the American Mind, Roderick Nash, third edition; pub. Yale Univ. Press, 1967.

Siskiyou Wilderness | fall 2012

My expectations for wilderness wavers too. As I sit at home with my creature comforts I hope that others are out enjoying the majesty of the wilds–connecting with the natural world and progressing as stewards. When my turn comes to plan a wilderness adventure, destinations are chosen based on where I will find solitude. This was the original, anthropocentric idea behind wilderness–a place that would retain primeval character and guarantee solitude. I am a proponent for more people visiting wilderness (walking in under their own power) so that they might have more authentic experiences in nature, care more, and develop a closer connection to the Earth.

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Lifer! – Pinnacles National Park

Original Publication Date: 5/27/2011 3:38:32 PM

Day two of the journey to Mexico found a stop at the Pinnacles National Monument. I can’t believe I had never been there before–especially since I have thought about it often. It is the poster child for the land of the ghost pine in my mind because of a photograph taken here which appeared in Ron Lanner’s Conifers of California. In addition to the plants, I got up close and personal with Condor 99–a juvenile who was quite photogenic perched in a ghost pine. This was particularly exciting because I had spent so much time in the late ’90’s looking for condors in the Sespe and Sisquoc Wilderness areas but had never yet seen one. I finally got my glimpse. Later in the day I was driving through the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge along the Cerro Noroeste Road and got to see a bird on the nest, incubating an egg. I was cued into this because a scientist was monitoring the nest from the San Diego Zoo. The condor return is an amazing success story.

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The high route through the Pinnacles National Monument.

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Migration of the blog

My old platform was deleted by my now former webhost, Godaddy. Needless to say, it was not a happy day when this happened, unannounced. On the bring side, change is good…

I’m in the process of migrating the old posts and updating my new WordPress platform. Please check back or sign up for email updates in the sidebar.