Blackstone Canyon with Michael – 23 November 2015

We drove through some sweet autumn colors in suburban Marinwood on our way to the trailhead, the deep reds of the Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweetgum), the brighteorange reds of the Chinese Pistache and the vibrant yellows of the Ginko biloba in full tilt. Michael had just returned from his trip to New York City to visit his son, Hunter, and to explore that urban “forest”. He was very pleased that he was able to add a new hooping location to his growing portfolio. This time is was in front of a favorite touchstone, the Apollo theater, and done with his usual style but in the rain – he loved the sign above that said “Amateur Night”.

Shot with his iPhone. You can spot Michael hooping, of course, you can.

Having a gather as we get together

A friend of Michael’s just coming back from her hike, she knits while she hikes and was making this for Syrian refugees. This site from another knitter develops the idea. This blog is done by a nurse on the Olympic Peninsula.

Maybe this was the time when Michael was talking about the Pistachio (Pistacia) which is in the Anacardiaceae family – quite a gathering around that table including cashews, mangos, poison sumac, poison ivy, poison oak, the smoke tree and many more cousins. The wiki article speaks of these flowering plants “bearing fruits that are drupes and in some cases producing urushiol, an irritant.”
A sidebar was remembering pistachios when they were red:

A Giant Chain Fern, Woodwardia fimbriata –

This hike wasn’t just meandering by a stream, it also had some chunky uphill (and downhill – they always seem to go together). Slow and steady made it. Big Bravo to everyone!

We’ve been celebrating a bumper year of Madrone (Arbutus menziesii) berries, here you can see them going all the way to the crest of this hillside.

Todays’s lunch spot arrived at by the best of intentions.

Michael mentioned at the start of the hike that he was thinking about the difference between INTENTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS. Intentions free you up to be yourself and focus on the things in life that really matter to you. Expectations on the other hand can be delimiting, filled with guilt (not living up to someone or something) and frustrating.
Here’s more of an explanation by Jack Elias:
This link relates to using the idea in teaching:

What a fine conclave of hiking friends and companions!

Plenty of room for conversations of all kinds

A dam on Blackstone Canyon Creek that an earlier farmer erected, we saw the rusty piping of this water project a number of times along our trail.
Michael mentioned that all dams eventually fill up and become less functional to non-functional demanding alternative planning. Here are some clear and informative maps of the Miller Creek Watershed. Blackstone Canyon Creek is in the top middle of each map. A number of other watershed areas are detailed with similar care and quality – nicely done! Here’s another excellent resource for the Miller Creek Watershed in which our hike is located – The Historical Ecology of Miller Creek. Here’s an example from further south of a dam’s removal in the Carmel River Valley.

John wears a tag with his medical history on his shoe, he said it had been more urgent earlier in his life but that he thought he’d put it on his hiking shoe for future reference.

Heidi shared that just after she’d take a first aid course including the Heimlich Maneuver. She was in a restaurant when a stranger at another table began to choke. She had things fresh in mind and was able to perform it and help the person to breath again. On another occasion someone mentioned actually plucking out a piece of lobster that was causing the choking from someone’s mouth. While the results may be smelly and messy, the saving of someone’s life far outweighs any temporary discomfort, concerns for propriety or embarrassment.

Spider sheet web across the grass capturing the dew drops

Here’s a VIMEO walkabout of our hike in Blackstone Canyon:

Blackstone Canyon with Michael – 23 November 2015 (1)

P.S. I’ll be taking a break from the last three hikes because of my surgery this next Thursday, December 3rd. Thanks for all of your loving care, prayers, meditations, emails, cards and continuing kindnesses. See you all on the trail with Michael in the Spring of 2016 or hopefully BEFORE. Hugs, Lew

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