February 13 (1980, 1987, 1999, 2006)
Slogging for Gold, Blessed by Manzanita

2/13/80 ~ before dawn... hamburger hands after another mining foray, to green valley this time ~ what a change has been wrought by the flood in january ~ large alders uprooted or snapped like twigs ten feet above the present water line ~ i was wending my way through the rack and ruin of alder groves along the edge when i came to a place where a small side stream trickled through the boulder piles along this bank and noted a lot of black sand in the area. so i set up my sluice box and worked a few hours. very good color ~ a few clinkers i could pick up with my fingers. many of the flakes had a lovely red hue covering part of their surface.

the long slog back out was a l-o-o-ng slog in my soaked tennies & jeans but manzanita has begun to bloom and the sweet scent was rapturous


the day before yesterday i took charles and charlotte out to lover's leap. they hadn't been before, and though the canyon was drab under cloudy skies, we enjoyed it [...]

[Russell Towle's journal]

2/13/87   Full moon and Friday the Thirteenth; finished a letter to the Beckwitts of the Forest Issues Task Force today, mailing it after having made copies for Newsom and myself. Ran into Dave Black in Dutch Flat, and he gave me the front section of yesterday's SF Chronicle, which contained a short article and photograph about the Lovers Leap Oak; I received mention, in the second paragraph. The article was on page seven. Wow... I've really hit the big time. Maybe some tree-loving Maecenas will endow me with a lifelong gratuity.


[Russell Towle's journal]

February 13, 1999

Health is more or less restored, except that I am often depressed and sleep more than usual. I haven't been out hiking since early January. [...]

I am still working, in a very unsustained manner, on the Petrified Forest booklet, and also on a letter to the Supervisors et. al. on open space in Placer County.

Lots of storms lately and hard to keep enough firewood on hand.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

Blooming Manzanita, February 13, 2006

About Manzanita
[from Wikipedia]
Manzanita is a common name for many species of the genus Arctostaphylos. They are evergreen shrubs or small trees present in the chaparral biome of western North America, where they occur from southern British Columbia, Washington to California and New Mexico in the United States, and throughout much of northern and central Mexico. They are characterized by smooth, orange or red bark and stiff, twisting branches. There are 106 species of manzanita, 95 of which are found in the Mediterranean climate and colder mountainous regions of California, ranging from ground-hugging coastal and mountain species to small trees up to 20 feet (6m) tall. Manzanitas bloom in the winter to early spring and carry berries in spring and summer. The berries and flowers of most species are edible.

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