Over the river and through the woods…

To new experiences we go! The past month has been budding with a shared love of learning and living in the environment. From yurting to spotting to frogging and more, I’ll walk you through a few of the most memorable moments thus far.

Starting with work

January is busy vegetation management in the bay area because we are in the middle of the rainy season so it is prime time for planting. The photo below is a truck bed full of species that we planted with the help of contractors in January. Planting is an important conservation tool to expand and reintroduce native plant species where populations once thrived. The other photo is of a mature lupin plant. We started planting lupin seed in December to expand habitat for the endangered Mission Blue Butterfly, which lays its eggs and feeds on the nectar of lupin. This lupin has been established for many years and is early to flower.

As part of managing NPS land in San Mateo county we also conduct surveys of red legged frog egg masses. Below is Catherine getting a close up look at the egg mass (pictured right) to identify the development stage of the larvae.

The below photos are from the Natural Resource team retreat, a one day workshop where we traveled to Occidental Arts & Ecology Center to discuss team priorities, connect across working groups, and learn about the property, which has a myriad of programs, projects, and outreach.

A view of the sunrise over park housing one morning!
The collages are from a monthly event called Environmental Educators of Color where people of color working in the environment in the bay area come together to connect and build community.

To the woods we enter!

These past few weeks have been full of woodland adventures. At the mushroom & fungi festival that I wrote about in my last post we also went on a hike in the nearby park.

Andrés, who is a park ranger at Muir Woods and manages the housing we live in, gave us a special invitation to guide us through a hike in Muir Woods at night, where we saw millipedes, mushrooms, and felt the spooky aura of the forest after dark.

Saving the best for last, we also went on a spectacular yurting adventure where we hiked through the woods, pet moss, spotted thousands of ladybugs, crossed rivers, and kindled a fire to cook our dinner at a yurt we reserved for an overnight visit at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. The next day we stopped by some cute shops in the nearby town.

All in all I’ve had a wonderful month. Not without challenges, of course, but full of learning, living, and the woods.

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