Blanche Trask

Naturalist, Poet, and Writer
ERYTHEA: A Journal of West American Botany

Edited by Willis Linn Jepson, Instructor in Botany, University of California
February 1897, Volume 5, Number 2, page 30

I walked the length of the island and was in a few of its great canons. At first the eye perceived only the grasses and stones of a great level; but suddenly the canons drop down to the sea, and they are very narrow as well as steep, so that one can distinguish many of the trees from above. Lyonothamnus floribundus was in bloom , and there were groves upon groves of trees. It seems strange that it has not been reported before. It is not included in Mr. Brandegees list, which, I believe, covers all previous lists. Antirrhinum speciosum marked everywhere the beginnings of the canons by its brilliant flowers.

At the head of one canon there were several groves of Quercus tomentella situated where the trees could not fail to get the heavy winter winds. On Santa Catalina the groves of this oak are in deep and sheltered canons. These trees on San Clemente show the effects of their exposed situation, being twisted and round-topped, of medium size and somewhat crabbed. on Santa Catalina they are comparatively tall, over fifty feet in height, straight of limb, and majestic.

Closing Comment by Robert Roy van de Hoek

Blanche Trask, a wonderful naturalist and writer, whose writing still links Santa Catalina to San Clemente as two sibling islands, more than 100 years after her first visit to San Clemente Island, in 1897. For example:
1. Both Catalina and San Clemente are in Los Angeles County.
2. Both islands have many trees in common, namely the Island Oak and the Island Ironwood.
3. The managers of both islands, US Navy & Wrigley Family (SCIC), have identical styles: Militaristic (i.e. both make their staff wear uniforms).
4. Both Catalina and San Clemente would make worthy additions to the Channel Island National Park, similar to the five other Channel Islands.
5. Both island managers, fight vehemently to not be part of the Channel Islands National Park.
6. Both Catalina and San Clemente Island have a nemesis that need to be removed. On Catalina, the Wrigley Family's Santa Catalina Island Company controls the City, Parks Department, Lifeguard, and Conservancy. On San Clemente Island, the Navy controls the island similarly.
7. LA County Sheriff Lee Baca has authority on both islands. Baca listens carefully to US NAVY and Wrigley Family on San Clemente and Catalina.

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