Blanche Trask: Poet-Explorer-Naturalist

Blanche Trask, poet-explorer-naturalist, did most of her "California wild nature" exploration and writing on the Channel Islands of Southern California. She was a resident of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island in Los Angeles County, California from 1895 to 1915 (20 Years). Her winter home was located next to the Tuna Club in Avalon, but she also had a summer home at the Isthmus where the Institute of Environmental Studies of USC is currently located. She corresponded with professors and scientists at UC Berkeley, Harvard University, the Smithsonian, and at the California Academy of Sciences in San Franciso. She also corresponded with Charles Lummis, editor of the Land of Sunshine, a literary magazine in which her early poetry first appeared. Land of Sunshine was merged into another magazine called Out West in 1904.

Blanche Trask published CATALINA FOG in OUT WEST, which subsumed LAND OF SUNSHINE in February 1904 after living on Catalina Island for about eight years. CATALINA FOG was published eight (8) years after her first poem called MASKING. CATALINA FOG is the third (3rd) of ten (10) poems published by Blanche Trask spanning 12 years between 1896 and 1908. The above narrative and the poem was written and compiled by Robert Roy van de Hoek, July 2000, for educational purposes. The brief biography of Blanche Trask has since been revised in July 2000.

OUT WEST Volume 20, Number 2, Page 161. December February 1904 


Round about the highest peaks
A mighty fog is furled-
He leans to look into the sea,
And shuts out all the world.

And I, who walk this mountain trail,
have doubts of heaven above,
And listen to the hidden sea
Like voice of one I love.

E'en while I list, this mighty fog
Has torn himself in two,
To show me still that endlessness
Which 'bideth i' the blue!

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