Practicing “seeing” on the barefoot trail
Yesterday’s morning hike with fellow-Orange-County-nature-poet Chuck Wright revealed some of the many hidden treasures of the James Dilley Preserve (part of OC Park’s Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, LCWP).
Site of many a ’60’s hippie peace-pot-and-music happenings, the hills are still teeming with wild life: wildlife like Behr’s metalmark butterflies and green lynx spiders. Native bees, flies and wasps. Coyotes, deer, rabbits, hawks. You have to slow way down and set your eyes to “open” in order to catch glimpses of some of the smaller critters; Chuck is an expert bug-spotter, and it was fun to explore Dilley with someone who has spent countless hours there.
Well, maybe not “countless” — he actually submits reports to OC Parks of his time spent there, because he is Dilley’s hero when it comes to non-native invasive plant removal. Arundo, pampas grass, artichoke thistle, watch out: Chuck is after you, and your days are numbered. Chuck and his mattock will get you yet.
But while he’s on the lookout for plants that don’t belong (even such wildland oddities as cistus and oleander), Chuck is also noticing the smallest details of who’s is bloom and who’s looking for flowers in all the right places.
A few photos of things I might have missed, if Chuck hadn’t pointed them out:
I’m looking forward to reading some poetry and showing some photos with Chuck next April at the LCWP’s Nix Nature Center. We’re going to try to have all the poems be about/from Orange County’s South Coast Wilderness–a local treasure.