Redwood Sorrel


As I was hiking up the mountain for the last time this afternoon, I was hoping to find some creatures to draw. The weather today however, is cold and rainy and the forest is quiet. I can hear a few birds in the canopy, but I don’t see them, and I’m not seeing even banana slugs out to play. As I crossed across Merrill Meadow I saw scratching tracks left by a Mountain Lion. Alex described them to me a few days ago, he has been keeping notes on them up in the meadow. “Here… kitty, kitty, kitty…”

Now, I’m in full rain gear and laying on a foam mat, protecting the sketchbook within a plastic bag as I draw. Large drops of water are falling on the plastic bag with loud plops. It’s quite a change considering we started the walk, with me sketching the view into the forest from about ten feet from here and about 50° warmer.

On the forest floor, growing up from the redwood duff, is redwood sorrel. These little plants are among the few with their leaves still open, most of the sorrel has folded-up in the rain, but these ones are still only a little wet under the shelter from a particularly large tree. Redwood sorrel looks similar to clover, and is edible. I’ve seen friends make salads out of it, even though it tastes a bit tangy.

UC Santa Cruz, Natural Reserve

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