Walt Whitman Sings the Song of the Redwoods

Whitman in 1875 by Thomas Dewing [Public domain]

Though Whitman may never have “[Faced] west, from California’s shores,” as he trumpeted in one California poem, his opening stanzas resounded with authenticity. I expected the rest of the poem to be a testament to the grace and beauty of the redwood-covered hills and a condemnation of the jack-screw men intent on plundering ancient natural resources. Then I reached the line which read, “not of the past only, but of the future.” Uh-oh. Continue Reading →

The Allure of Hummingbird Island

Hummingbird Island Stairs

California’s Second Largest Salt Marsh Elkhorn Slough stretches seven miles inland from Moss Landing Harbor, forming the second largest salt marsh in California. Since the mid-nineteenth century, it has hosted roadhouses, ranches, sugar beet plants, dairies, bootleggers, whaling stations, salt ponds, oyster farms, gun clubs and power plants. Throughout, its usefulness as a shipping channel via land and water has threatened the thriving habitat of over 700 species of animals. The Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve sits near the slough’s terminus. It features numerous hiking trails and endless opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife. Returning from a recent trip to Monterey, my wife and I stopped at the Reserve and spent several hours hiking and observing wildlife. While there were many worthwhile points of interest, we found ourselves most captivated by the spit of land known as Hummingbird Island. Art, Conservation, Refuge Part marsh and part hillock, the island Continue Reading →