this notice is coming a little late, as i’ve been stepping back from online presence somewhat. but here goes:
on my last trip to california in july ’22, i was reading kerouac again. on the extra day we gained from a cancelled flight, we were in a little cafe near haight-ashbury, and a pome made its way onto paper. kerouac’s influence is strong, as was the macchiato.
the crank maghas graciously published it in their latest issue, available here. tho note that the cover has explicit (male) nudity, in case you’re sensitive to such material.
beside hwy 1 in california, just as one descends on big sur from the north, lies garrapata state park and its bluff trail. we went up and down the mazey path along the bluff, enjoying the persuasive breeze and bare sun on the bluffside. and the flowers! clinging to the rock and sand for dear life all around.
in addition, one of the strangest sights i’ve ever come across: on the initial passage out to the bluff side, one comes upon a cove, and as i walked out to the overlook on a dusty path to spy the cove in more detail a massive corpse met my eyes, a whale deceased in the surf, gently tossing. i hesitated to take pictures, but didn’t want to hide the encounter and fall prey to the temptation to romanticize the natural world. it was a pity to see, but the vultures were already getting ready to eat for days, and many other creatures were surely going to be fed for longer. so it’s here, as the last set of pictures at the bottom; don’t scroll all the way down if you’d rather not see, please.
on brighter notes, first id’s of clawberry, sticky monkey flower, scarlet pimpernel, woolly sunflower (“seaside” methinks), and false bindweed (calystegia).
san antonio de padua mission is 86 acres of the valley of the oaks in california’s central coast, a mission founded by the spanish in 1771. it’s off the beaten path, moreso than the other ca missions at least, and is inside a military base perimeter. very hot and the hills looked over a pretty harsh landscape. beautiful though, and the smell! very different for old wisconsinites from the southeast glacial plains.
had a good self-guided tour. a solid community of devoted parishioners out there, but also realizing they’re all getting older and the young are moving away. who knows? difficult history, but the land held its own and continues. first id’s of spanish clover and a pincushionplant (naverretia, not sure what species).