Summer is upon us! The ranch is abuzz with activity from weddings and summer camp to a solstice celebration and laying to rest beloveds. The Forests’ mission of providing a space to reconnect our experience of life and death with land conservation is alive in these activities and it is a delight to see all of the ways that the land is caring for us as we care for it.
The forests and meadows are especially vibrant with wildflowers this year thanks to our spring rains. This is a wonderful time to visit – and remember, we’re at nearly 5,000′ and it’s cooler up here! Enjoy a self-guided visit any day of the week between 11am and 5pm. Remember to follow directions on the website and contributions to The Crest are always welcome from visitors.
Please consider joining us for the next seasonal shift this fall. Honoring the earth and welcoming our community is important to us. Mark your calendars for the Autumnal Equinox Celebration on Sunday, September 18, 2022. We will offer a guided tour at 4pm and the celebration begins at 5:30pm. BYO dinner picnic to enjoy afterwards.
This has been a beautiful spring and early summer with rain. The wildflowers are amazing and prolific as are all the bees, bugs, butterflies and all sort of flying creatures.
Suzanne and I were walking the south meadow looking for areas that needed riparian interventions such as willow planting or bundles. The four-feet-deep, straight-banked ditches carved by erosion decades ago have sedges and grasses growing, along with abundant corn lilies. Meadow is restored and there is soil filling in. As we walked further, suddenly our shoes were in soggy wetland! The water table has risen and the marshy nature is restoring. Mother Nature wants to heal and, with love and support, it happens even in the most damaged areas. We found no places that needed what we have to offer!
A pair of young Sandhill Cranes have claimed the meadows as home for the last 4 months. There is no sign of nesting but, in reading about them, they may take another year. BUT they have recognized what they need is here – wetlands and marshy land. We are so honored by their presence.
We may not bend the arrow of climate change but we can allow what has functioned forever to be restored to function now, land holding water like a sponge to slowly release it to the stream and down the mountainside. Holding on is sometimes the best we can do and that is a lot!
This early summer wildflower even looks like it wants to be petted, just like a real fuzzy cat ear. Its soft, delicate look and texture will draw you in and make you want to reach out and give it a pet yourself! This native wildflower grows just 3-6” tall with 1-2 basal leaves and 2-6 upward-facing flowers. Come on up to The Forest and meet this gentle beauty.