Musk brush- Mt. Tam: Ridgecrest

Date: March 8, 2018

Location: Mount Tamalpais: Ridgecrest Latitude: 37.923824 °N, Longitude: ‎-122.596207 °W, Elevation: 2,565 feet


Site description: Mount Tamalpais is the peak of Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. It has deep canyons and hillsides with redwood forests, oak woodlands, open grasslands, and sturdy chaparral. With Mt. Tam’s 2,571-foot peak, views of the Farallon Islands can be seen 25 miles out to sea, as well as San Francisco Bay, East Bay, and Mount Diablo.


Species description: The musk brush, also known as Ceanothus jepsonii in the rhamnaceae family, is a perennial shrub that is erect. Its leaves have thick margins with very shark dentations that are sometimes revolute. The flowers are often blue with petals of 6-8 and sepals of 5, and a black center. They also have radial symmetry and umbel to clustered inflorescence.


Narrative: Luckily for our class, the rain cleared in time for our trip to Mount Tamalpais. I remember Mt. Tam having some rigorous trails, but the trail that we took was a lighter one. Even though the weather at the time of our hike was mild, with sunny, clear skies, the trail was still quite muddy from previous rain. This made the hike a lot scarier for me as I am already prone to falling while not walking in slippery mud.

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