Every lovely garden plant, whether visual, olfactory, edible, medicinal, or useful to construct something with, began as a self sufficient, wild and free plant form.


Vicia villosa,  Winter Vetch (Old World escapee)


California Buttercup. Ranunculus californica.


Wild Mustard,  Brassica  campestris


Not sure; either a Lotus or Lathyrus (Pea Family)

DNA is intelligent. Conscious. Resourceful. It will mutate primarily for survival, even if that means it alters its expression to please humans so they propagate and care for them. Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire, illustrates this very well. Having a strong soul connection with Johnny Appleseed, I fully enjoyed the book’s story of the apple. Mr. Appleseed planted most of his seedlings in my home state of Ohio.

Which is where I fell in love with wildflowers. Before I could walk. I still carry sustaining visions of some of my earliest discoveries. They captured me long before I began digging them up in the woods and planting them in a shady part of the yard, which was full of Acer saccharum- The Sugar Maple.

Having the collector’s disease, what ensued was a life learning to either just look, or be prepared to give a plant a proper home before acquiring it. This is usually more complex than creating a hole to stick the roots in.

This time of year, right now (the 2nd day of Spring), in late March, while the local trails offer the endings of the first show, and beginnings of the later risers which will have faded in a month,  the little gems I first discovered  in Vandalia and Centerville, Ohio,are just emerging – with the earliest, which would stick their heads out of the snow crust – already finished.

Here you will see a compilation of local flora, all photographed in Marin County Open Space, which comprises system wide,( combined with our spectacular National Monuments like Point Reyes, and Muir Woods),  more miles of trails than most would ever find, let alone walk. Treasures full of treasures. Horse is an excellent way to cover distance and elevation, if being down among the flowers and their friends is not part of your ride.

As Thoreau said: ” In wildness is the preservation of nature.” It is true.  The diploid and tetraploidal chromosomal arrangements we enjoy in so many frilly, fleshy, intensely colorful, spectacular flowers and vegetables would not survive a season in the wild from which their progenitors arose to thrive exactly where they rooted.

Native plants love growing right where they sprouted, and usually don’t think much of the altered environs we stick them in. There is so much going on in undisturbed soil that we don’t understand. But more people do than before.  These people don’t think much of oil pipelines, strip mining, and wholesale toxic dumping. Commonly, when a home is built, the magic topsoil is the first thing stripped away.

I haven’t even touched on the therapeutic herbal medicinal value of the natural  aromatic and medicinal oils and compounds that come with all plants, wild or not.


Vaccinium ovatum shoots. evergreen blueberry, or huckleberry. The fruit when you find them are delicious.


Lomatium dasycarpum, Hog Fennel


Dentaria californica,  Milk Maids or Toothwort.  A sweet spring Crucifer with tiny yam shaped rhizomes that tastes like horseradish, its aggressive cousin.



Sanicula arctopoides,  Footsteps-of-Spring.


Nemophila pedunculate,  Meadow Nemophila.


A Catchfly (Silene sp.) I’ve yet to identify; in the Pink Family


Pedicularis densiflora, Indian Warriors. The first time I came upon a trail lined with these, they glowed in my head until I found out their name. The fact that they are a Lousewort didn’t dampen my enthusiasm.



Camissonia ovata,  Coast Sun Cup


Cynoglossum occidentale.  Western Hound’s Tongue


Dodecatheon hendersonii. Shooting Stars



Indian Warriors


Lathyrus torreyii.  Torrey’s Sweet Pea


Rare white form of Shooting Stars.This was the only white flowered stem in a large patch of hundreds of plants.

Lupinus subvexus.  Valley Lupine

They too are Bodhisattva, here to serve us unconditionally in ways we have yet to understand and respect. I have talked to proud plants, vain plants, humorous plants, and mostly sweet loving plants. A  few annoyed plants; but none that were vindictive. Imagine the emotion of a rain forest that just got slashed and burned so we can eat some more tasty pink slime.

The Human tribe can learn from their brothers and sisters, The Plant Tribe, which pretty much has selflessness under control.

I will add photos to this section as I download them from years of digital memory cards.

Avoiding computers for most of my 68 years, at least those where computers were useable by non techies like myself, allowed my subtle aspects to open their eyes and ears to the universe – the multiverse –  around me.  The microwaves and EMF’s of our space age environment do nothing energetically to promote or enhance enlightenment – although this too can change. Information is not enlightenment. It is just information to be attached to or not.

That being said, I have always wanted to know every flower’s name.  But not until they already had my heart’s attention, via the eye. Controlling the desire to possess such beauty has been perhaps the point of this journey.



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