by Karen Arrington
“Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, not something you do in your spare time.”
Marian Wright Edelman
Edelman’s commitment and devotion to the causes she cares deeply about is reflected in her life’s work. This same level of commitment and devotion is something our volunteers share in common with her. Our volunteers give of their time and their talent, always answering our requests for help. Whether it’s pulling invasive species, planting natives, installing erosion control measures, contributing to the success of special events, being our eyes and ears on properties on which we hold conservation easements or helping the office move at full speed, our volunteers show up and help with projects that we couldn’t accomplish without their support.
by Kate Freeman
Spring has announced its arrival — the generous daylight and boisterous birdsong have made it abundantly clear. It feels positively trite to write a piece about springtime wildflowers, but I really can’t help myself, so bear with me. On a recent hike out on the land, I was treated to views of several spring ephemeral flowers. These blooms caught my attention not only for their beauty, but also for their less than conventional breeding strategies. In this season of birds and the bees, I got to thinking about the innumerable pollination strategies that exist right in our own backyards. Some plants play nice, offering nectar rewards to incoming pollinators, but others use fraud and imprisonment to ensure pollination. And while the birds and bees get plenty of credit, the less glorified creatures on which our native flora rely for propagation deserve some consideration. Here is my ode to the flies, mosquitoes, spiders and beetles, as well as the devious floral sirens that attract them.
What first got my mind in the gutter — or leaf litter — was the sight of this gorgeous native fairy slipper orchid, Calypso bulbosa. The unique morphology of these little stunners is comprised of petals and sepals suspended above a large, modified petal. This lower petal creates a slipper-shaped pouch, thus, the namesake fairy slipper.
Sonoma Land Trust is a local nonprofit based in Santa Rosa, CA, that conserves scenic, natural, agricultural and open lands in Sonoma County for the benefit of the community and future generations. This blog focuses on SLT's stewardship team, whose members do hands-on work to directly protect, restore, and safeguard the land for generations to come.