Miramontes volunteer day

by

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Today’s volunteer party was scheduled to meet at the Purisima parking lot at 9:30, to shuttle to the Miramontes Ridge open space preserve. This is not open to the public, so it was another new venue for me.

I got to Purisima a few minutes after 7 and spent some time searching and destroying ivy and broom. The more I seek, the more I find. I think this is penance for my sins in some previous lifetime!

Miramontes is exceptionally pretty, even though contaminated by acacias, which we are mostly ignoring today.

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There were half a dozen volunteers, along with two from the open space district. They were all people I knew from previous ventures. Weed wrenches for all; it has been a month without rain, and even the small broom is hard to extract. I contented myself with the small size, although I had to borrow a larger one once or twice to attack some of the big stuff. Much of the broom is taller than we, much of it is embedded in coyote bush, brambles, and other undergrowth, and much of the undergrowth is poison oak. Gloves, gauntlets, watchfulness, and luck.

Neighbor Mason came over from his nearby home, to see what we were doing. He’s in second grade, brought along his pet snake (blow-up plastic) to show off.

We worked hard for a couple hours; it was time to break for lunch, and progress seemed discouraging. That was looking forward at how much remained. But when we turned around and looked at where we had been, it was clear that we had done a good day’s work.

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We retreated to the top of the hill for lunch, where we had nice views of Half Moon bay and the coastal hills. No photos, it was a bit hazy. Following lunch, we cleaned up broom along the trail to the top of the hill, then diverted onto another side trail, where we removed a few dozen random spurge plants and a little more broom.

Summary for the day: a new place, a pretty place, hard work. Did I succeed in avoiding a serious case of poison oak? Ask me tomorrow.

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