Grasses and Wildflowers, Mt. Davidson, California. Photo by Leifhendrik.
The full rush of blooming wildflowers has not quite come to our mountain yet. You have to look a little closely to find them these days, but in a week or two they should be literally flourishing. Meanwhile, the mountainside has long since turned green, there is a softness and warmth to the air, and various birds are singing which we haven’t heard from in months. During the past few years, organized groups of native plant enthusiasts have been clearing excess brush and planting native bulbs and seeds, so once again we should soon have much that is colorful and inspiring to admire. I’m accompanying this post with two photos I took on the dry side of Mt. Davidson, which faces west and south and rises abruptly just opposite our front windows. In the first, the lovely grasses are burr or spikelet-bearing plants which soon will prevent me from taking the dogs onto the mountain: the burrs get lodged in canine paws, tummies, noses and ears and require multiple expensive trips to the vet for extraction. In the second, you can see some of the native succulents which grow among the rocks on the non-rainforest side of things. The succulents tend to last a long time, and I try to remember to greet them individually as friends whenever I pass by.
Here are some lovely quotes excerpted from ‘Lady Bird Johnson in Her Own Words’, which can be found on the website of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin (www.wildflower.org). When it comes to plants, she’s one of my great heros.
“My heart found its home long ago in the beauty, mystery, order and disorder of the flowering earth.”
“My special cause, the one that alerts my interest and quickens the pace of my life, is to preserve the wildflowers and native plants that define the regions of our land-to encourage and promote their use in appropriate areas and thus help pass on to generations in waiting the quiet joys and satisfactions I have known since my childhood.”
“Some may wonder why I chose wildflowers when there are hunger and unemployment and the big bomb in the world. Well, I, for one, think we will survive, and I hope that along the way we can keep alive our experience with the flowering earth. For the bounty of nature is also one of the deep needs of man.”
“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.”
Succulents and Rocks, Mt. Davidson, California. Photo by Leifhendrik.