Nutcracker Hike in Little Basin

Sempervirens docent Karen DeMello led a fun interpretive hike at Little Basin — filling our imaginations with scenes of the redwood forest and sounds from the Nutcracker Suite.    What a treat!  

Little Basin started as HP’s corporate retreat.   Hence the garage door mock-up on the amphitheater stage.  We learned on the hike that HP’s first customer was Walt Disney, who bought audio oscillators for Fantasia, which coincidentally features the Nutcracker Suite.  (clip)

Nice that all of this forest and history can be preserved by Sempervirens and POST.  They are the land trusts who bought Little Basin.  The eventual goal is to make it a state park, by adding to Big Basin.  

Scott Peden brought a series of maps more than a century old showing how Big Basin State Park has grown as a result of Sempervirens members.  In addition to helping the forest, members get exclusive access to Little Basin before it is opened to the public.  

Click here to join Sempervirens.

Elegant Sheep Moth

Yesterday at Little Basin hiking with Sempervirens docents, we came across an interesting moth.   At the time, we didn’t know what it was.

Elegant Sheep Moth on Sempervirens Hike

Elegant Sheep Moth on Sempervirens Hike

Today docent Karen DeMello identified the moth.  She writes:

What a great day yesterday at Little Basin!  This morning I’ve been poking around the internet to find a photo of the moth that we saw yesterday.  If you scroll 1/3rd down this page, it’s in the middle and called “Elegant Sheep Moth”. 

See what I mean — these docents know their stuff and are dedicated to constantly building their knowledge!

Sempervirens Fund

Today I trained as a docent for the Sempervirens Fund.   Now I am an official ambassador of the redwood forest!  At least in title — I am humbled by the knowledge, skill and dedication of the Sempervirens leaders and aspire to represent the wildlife, lands, and fund as well as they do.  Docents lead hikes through the forest to help people get to know and enjoy the land, which is the first step towards preserving the land.

Sempervirens is a member-supported land trust, meaning that member contributions go to buy land that is protected from human destruction and ultimately turned into state parks.   Founded in 1900, Sempervirens has a terrific track record including Big Basin, Castle Rock, and Butano state parks.

From the day I heard of it 20 years ago, I’ve felt strongly that this is the best approach to conservation:  Buy the land and set it aside.   Call me a cowardly capitalist but I believe in property rights for land owners and rather than fight a messy battle over what other people can do with their land, I’d sooner raise the money to buy the land and then we’re the owners, we call the shots.

My efforts are puny by themselves, but together with thousands of members, we are able to buy and enjoy massive properties, even in the expensive Bay Area.

Enjoyment is a prime motivator for setting aside the land, especially for me.  I don’t have kids, don’t have a concern for future generations to enjoy the place.   What I do have is a relationship and a liking for the forest itself and its for that reason that I work to protect it.

One of the neat things about being a Sempervirens docent is that I have access to land and trails that are not currently open to the public.   Pristine, beautiful, sacred places.  Also members have access to Little Basin which used to be HP’s private corporate campground in the Santa Cruz mountains, next to Big Basin.

If you want to go for a hike, give me a shout!

Better yet, sign up for a Sempervirens Fund Hike.