RALPH HOFFMANN
in the
PACIFIC COAST STATES
from
1919 to 1932:

Field Studies Mostly in Southern California,
Some in Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Northeast California

by
Robert Jan 'Roy' van de Hoek
Ballona Institute
322 Culver Boulevard, Suite 317
Playa del Rey, California 90293
2006


Introduction
Ralph Hoffmann moved to California from Missouri in 1919, where he had been a headmaster (1910-1919) in both Kansas City and St. Louis. Upon his arrival in southern California, he immediately began exploring nature in Santa Barbara County, particularly for wild birds. During the next 6 years, he explored the Pacific states, but especially in southern California. He explored several times for birds in northeastern California, such as in Mono, Lassen, Modoc, and Klamath counties. He also explored in the San Joaquin Valley for birds, namely Merced County. He also explored into the Sonoran Desert of southeastern California in Imperial Valley, and around the Salton Sea. He reached the Arizona border and the boundary with Mexico. In addition, he made several trips to northern neighbor states of California, namely Oregon and Washington. He explored along both the coast and inland to the deserts in these adjoining states.

In 1920, after only one year of residence in California, he traveled back east to Massachusetts for a brief visit. He went to his boyhood home and birthplace in Stockbridge, in Berkshire County. He explored for both birds and plants, while visiting Massachusetts. I surmise that he also visited relatives during this time. Returning back to California, he return immediately to exploring for birds in California. However, from his desk in his home in Carpinteria, he would also finish writing a major monograph on plants in 1922 entitled Flora of Berkshire County, Massachusetts. In addition, in 1922, he finished a detailed new report on Berkshire County birds, which supplemented his monograph of 22 years earlier, in 1900. It seems that the period between 1919 and 1922 marks a significant departure and turning point in the life of Ralph Hoffmann. Not only does he move further west, and thus away from Massachusetts, he also brings closure to his earlier natural history studies in western Massachusetts. He shifts away from his roots in Massachusetts, and now become focused on natural history studies, first for birds and and then plants, especially around Santa Barbara County. but also in adjoining counties of California.

In 1925, while still studying birds of California and adjoining states, he adds a new dimension to his natural history field studies, namely the investigation of California native plants. It coincides with his becoming the executive director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. His floristic field studies are focused on Santa Barbara County.

Amidst the duties of being an executive director, he still collected plants, and in 1927, he also finished and published his second major book on birds, entitled Birds of the Pacific States. With this book finally completed in 1927, it marks an opportunity for Ralph Hoffmann to begin an intense exploration of wild native plants throughout Santa Barbara County. He discovers several new species of plants, both on the islands and the mainland. However, he does not stop observing and writing about birds, while intensely researching the flora of Santa Barbara County.

In 1931, he wrote an article on oak trees of Santa Cruz Island. That oak article was published in the Leaflets of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. It was followed soon afterward, in 1932, by an article on new plants found on Santa Cruz Island, published in the Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences. Then, suddenly, he dies in 1932, at the age of 61, leaving behind an unfinished manuscript on the flora of the Santa Barbara Island and voluminous field collections of plants and bird notes. His notes on both birds and plants were becoming the foundation for not only a flora of all of Santa Barbara County, but also a monograph on the avifauna of Santa Barbara County. It repeats an earlier period in his life, where he completed a floristic monograph and an avifaunal monograph for Berkshire County, in western Massachusetts.

The first of Hoffmann's field studies for wild native plants in Santa Barbara County is documented by vouchers from both Carpinteria (Ferren, 1985) and Santa Cruz Island (Junak, 1995). From this humble beginning in the mid-1920s, he soon had collected plants throughout all of Santa Barbara County. His passionate and diligent search for plants in Santa Barbara County mimics a similar effort he did many years previously in Berskhire County, Massachusetts. He even explored the high peaks in the Santa Barbara "backcountry" and adjoining Ventura County. And he also explored and looked for native plants in the nearby Mohave Desert and San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles County.

In 1932, Ralph Hoffmann died of injuries from a fall on a cliff on San Miguel Island in southern California. He was looking for native plants on this cliff, probably trying to collect a new species perhaps. His tragic death brought to an end his bird studies and plant studies in Santa Barbara County. Any future goals he had of writing two books or monographs on the bird and plants of Santa Barbara County perished with his death.

Apparently, the travels of Ralph Hoffmann to the Mohave Desert were focused on finding buckwheats (Smith, 1998), but I believe he was also searching for cacti and succelents, as well as birds on these explorations to southeastern California. Fortunately, Clif Smith (1952, 1978 and 1998) wrote some very nice narrative statements that acknowledge, honor, and discuss Ralph Hoffmann, which is very important reading, as a supplement to this guide to Hoffmann's travels in southern California.

In addition, a careful reading of a biographical essay on Ralph Hoffmann, written by Harold Swanton (1981), which appeared, coincidentally, in Natural History, is also important to understanding the 'life and times' of Ralph Hoffmann. He was, afterall, a superb naturalist and student of natural history. All the while, he resided in Carpinteria with his wife, Gertrude Hoffmann. He truly was and still is to this day, an "unsung guide" to native plants and birds of Santa Barbara County and Berkshire County as well as in California and Massachusetts. This research project hopes to change a little of that biased nature of being unsung, particularly since Ralph Hoffmann was a distinguished naturalist and teacher, as well as the first director of an important regional Museum of Natural History.

This brief article will show how Ralph Hoffmann has influenced and assisted scientists and naturalists for more than 60 years after his death, simply through his good writing, field collecting, knowledge, and inspiration that he put into his work. My efforts in writing this brief article is part of a larger project for a comparative biography, history, geography, and ecology of Ralph Hoffmann and his natural history studies, in both Berkshire County and Santa Barbara County. The project will also compare California to the state of Massachusetts, from the perspective of Ralph Hoffmann and his studies of native birds and native plants.


Results
The result of this study is the compilation of Ralph Hoffmann's journeys and explorations for both birds and plants in California, Oregon, and Washington. Along the way, in assembling this research, it was discovered that there are many birding books and floristic books that have dedicated, recognized, and acknowledged Ralph Hoffmann, before and after his death. Ralph Hoffmann became a naturalist, first in Massachusetts, but later in life, he grew as a naturalist, in Missouri for 10 years, and finally in California, where his knowledge grew and blossomed still further during the last 12 years of his life. A preliminary sample of a chronology of some his field studies and writings during his time in California is presented in Table 1 below. I begin with a few dates in 1919, from Massachusetts to set the parameters of his arrival in California, as best they can be discerned at this time.

Table 1. Chronology of Dates of Travel and Writing by Ralph Hoffmann.
Year ........... Location ............................... Reference Source
1919
Jul 19 ... Stockbridge, Berkshire Co., Rhamnus cathartica escaped in hedgerow
Jul 21 ... Hancock, Berkshire Co. ... Tennessee Warbler at Berry Pond, 2000'. (Hoffmann 1922)
Aug 08 ... Lenox Railway station, Berskhire Co. ... 3 egret in pond by river (Hoffmann 1922).
Aug 09 ... Lenox, Mass. ... Upland Plover nest (Hoffmann 1922).
Nov 15 ... Hope Ranch pond ... 12 swans, (Hoffman 1920a).
Dec 24 ... Hope Ranch pond ... 44 swans, waterfowl refuge, (Hoffmann 1920a).
Dec 29 ... Santa Barbara ... writes swan article at desk, (Hoffmann 1920a).

1920
Jan 09 ... Carpinteria Woods ... Warbler in Live Oaks (Henderson 1920)
Jan 22 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Marsh Wren (T. palustris picsius) in the only cat-tail marsh on the island (Hoffmann 1920b)
Jan 23 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Yellowthroat (ssp - scirpicola) in cat-tails with wren, id by Luther Wyman (Hoffmann 1920b)
Jan 24 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Both "Nuttall" and "Gambel" White-crowned Sparrow (50/50), id. by Wyman (Hoffmann 1920b)
Jan 25 ... Santa Cruz Island ... "Dwarf" Hermit Thrush, id. by Harry Swarth at CAS, (Hoffmann 1920b)
Jan 26 ... Santa Cruz Island ... 20 Mountain Bluebird feeding as flock on a mesa near Black Point at west end (Hoffmann 1920b)
Jan 26 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Raven pellet collected with prey items (Hoffmann 1920c).
Apr 1? ... Santa Cruz Island ... Nutcracker joins Red-breated Nuthatch and Crossbill in pine belt (Hoffmann 1920b)
Jun 04 ... At Desk in Stockbridge, Mass. ... writes Santa Cruz Island article, (Hoffmann 1920b).

1921
Apr 20 ... Carpinteria stream bed, warbler in sycamore (Hoffmann 1921b).
Apr 23 ... At Desk in Carpinteria home ... writes warbler article (Hoffmann 1921b).
May 27 ... Carpinteria Beach ... Least Tern behavioral mating performance (Hoffmann 1921a)
May 31 ... Ventura River Mouth ... Least Tern- "5 pair playing about an "estuary" (Hoffmann 1921a)
Jun 24 ... Ventura ... Barranca off Coast Hwy, Say Phoebe chicks fed beach insects (Hoffmann 1921d).
Jun 25 ... Ventura Lagoon ... Santa Clara River mouth, Canvasback & Widgeon (Hoffmann 1921d).
Jun 28 ... San Bernardino Co. ... Cushenberry Ranch with Vermilion Flycatcher in a high Cottonwood (Hoffmann 1921c).
Jul 15 ... Carpinteria ... male Cowbird seen (Hoffmann 1921).
Jul 16 ... At Desk in Carpinteria home .. writes phoebe and Canvasback article (Hoffmann 1921d).
Jul 16 ... At Desk in Carpinteria home ... writes San Bernardino Co. flycatcher article (Hoffmann 1921c).
Jul 19 ... Mono Lake ... Eastern Kingbird (Hoffmann 1921e).
Sep 25 ... At Desk in Carpinteria home ... writes kingbird article (Hoffmann 1921e).
Winter, 1921 ... At Desk in Carpinteria home ... writes Berkshire birds supplement (Hoffmann 1922).

1922
Jan 01 ... Thermal, Imperial Co. ... Lark Bunting wintering, no rain this year (Hoffmann 1923).
Jan 03 ... Thermal, Imperial Co. ... Lark Bunting flock of 20 (Hoffmann 1922).
Jan 03 ... San Gorgonio Pass by Banning, Riverside Co., 30 Lark Bunting flock (Hoffmann 1922).
Mar 27 ... Winterhaven, Imperial Co., near Yuma, Arizona ... Ground Dove (Hoffmann 1922).
Mar 28 ... Brawley, Imperial Co. ... 1 Lesser Yellowleg with flock of 20 Greater's (Hoffmann 1922).
Apr 04 ... Carpinteria desk ... writes Riverside and Imperial Co. bird article (Hoffmann 1922).
Dec 29 ... San Diego False Bay ... Ruddy Turnstone & plover on mudflat (Hoffmann 1923).
Dec 30 ... Campo, San Diego Co. ... Ferruginous Hawk by Clinton Abbott & Hoffmann (Huey 1924).

1923
Jan 02 ... Brawley, Imperial Co. ... 1 Ferruginous Hawk & 4 Mountain Plover (Hoffmann 1923).
Jan 02 ... El Centro, Imperial Co. ... Vesper Sparrow (Hoffmann 1923).
Jan 03 ... Westmoreland, Imperial Co. ... 20 Lark Bunting wintering (Hoffmann 1923).
Jan 06 ... Carpinteria desk ... writes San Diego and Imperial Co. bird article (Hoffmann 1923).
Feb 03 ... Carpinteria walnut grove ... Purple Finch in weed patches under trees (Hoffmann 1924).
Feb 22 ... Fillmore in apricot orchard ... Purple Finch invasion at Peyton Farm (Hoffmann 1924).
Apr 08 ... Carpinteria, Hoffmann home ... Purple Finch in live oak & sycamore (Hoffmann 1924).
Sep 13 ... Santa Barbara Bird Refuge ... Eastern Kingbird seen (Hoffmann 1924).
Sep 16 ... Playa del Rey Ballona Marsh ... Los Angeles County sandpipers (Wyman 1924).
Oct 25 ... Carpinteria, Hoffmann home lawn ... Loggerhead Shrike steals worm (Hoffmann 1924).
Oct 29 ... Carpinteria desk ... writes Santa Barbara birds article (Hoffmann 1924).

1924
May 09 ... Washington ... Carroll Island, Ancient Murrelet eggs collected (Hoffmann 1924).
May 26 ... Oregon ... Indian Reservation between Klamath Falls & Lakeview (Hoffmann 1924).
Jun 01 ... Lassen County ... Snipe behavioral flights, (Hoffmann 1924).
Jul 18 ... Carpinteria ... writes snipe article at desk, (Hoffmann 1924).
Jul 18 ... Carpinteria ... writes Oregon Gray Flycatcher article at desk (Hoffmann 1924).
Jul 18 ... Carpinteria ... writes Murrelet article at desk (Hoffmann 1924)

1925
Mar 15 ... Carpinteria strand ... Salix laevigata (Arroyo Willow), (Ferren 1985)
Mar 28 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Christy Pines, Pelican Bay, Central Valley (Junak 1995)
Mar 28 ... Santa Cruz Island ... at west end, specimen voucher (SBBG 079048, SBM 732)
May 02 ... Carpinteria Marsh ... Heliotropium curassivicum oculatum (Ferren 1985), SBBG voucher says "borders of salt marsh"
May 30 ... Carpinteria strand ... Lasthenia glabrata coulteri, (Ferren 1985).
May 30 ... Carpinteria strand ... Malacothrix incana succulenta, (Ferren 1985).
May 30 ... Carpinteria strand ... Spergularia macrotheca macrotheca , (Ferren 1985).
May 30 ... Carpinteria strand ... Atriplex leucophylla, (Ferren 1985).
May 30 ... Carpinteria strand ... Chenopodium murale, (Ferren 1985).
May 30 ... Carpinteria strand ... Bromus carinatus, (Ferren 1985).
May 30 ... Carpinteria strand ... Hordeum geniculatum, (Ferren 1985).
May 30 ... Carpinteria strand ... Lolium multiflorum, (Ferren 1985).
Jun 16 ... Carpinteria strand ... Ambrosia chamissonis, (Ferren 1985).
Jul 14 ... Oregon ... Beaver Marsh, Klamath County, Crossbill (Hoffmann 1926)
Jul 26 ... Ventura Sloughs ... Santa Clara River mouth, 9 Ibis in pondweed (Hoffmann 1926).
Jul 29 ... Ventura - Hueneme ... Magnificent Frigatebird seen flying along beach (Hoffmann 1926).
Sep 10 ... Oregon ... Tillamook in Tillamook County, Lesser Yellowlegs (Hoffmann 1925).
Nov 14 ... Carpinteria desk ... writes crossbill article (Hoffmann 1926).
Nov 14 ... Carpinteria desk ... writes yellowlegs article (Hoffmann 1926).
Nov 14 ... Carpinteria desk ... writes Ventura Wood Ibis article (Hoffmann 1926).

1926
Mar 21 ... Holtville, Imperial Co. ... Gila Woodpecker feeds on black mulberry (Hoffmann 1927).
Apr 23 ... Gustine, Merced Co. ... Lewis Woodpecker nesting in cottonwood (Hoffmann 1927).
May 06 ... Alturas, Modoc County ... Sandhill Crane nest (Hoffmann 1927).
May 14 ... La Push, Washington ... Pectoral Sandpiper (Hoffmann 1927).
Dec xx ... Carpinteria, at home at his desk writes "Introduction" (Foreward) for Saunders' book (Saunders 1927)
Note: No plant records recorded in 1926 by Junak (1995) or Ferren (1985) or Smith (1998).

1927
Jan 01 ... Carpinteria desk ... writes Gila Woodpecker article (Hoffmann 1926).
Jan 01 ... Carpinteria desk ... writes Lewis Woodpecker article (Hoffmann 1926).
Jan 01 ... Carpinteria desk ... writes Modoc Crane article (Hoffmann 1927).
Jan 01 ... Carpinteria desk ... writes Washington article (Hoffmann 1927).
Jan 27 ... Carpinteria orchard ... Juncos in walnut orchard, Condor 29:171
Feb 10 ... Carpinteria desk ... writes Junco article, (Hoffmann 1927).
Mar 25 ... San Miguel Island ... grassy slope - Sonchus tenerrimus (Hoffmann 1932a)
Mar 28 ... Santa Cruz Island ... no description of places visited (Junak 1995)
May 14 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Smugglers Cove (Junak 1995)
Jun 23 ... Santa Cruz Island ... west end (Junak 1995)
Aug 13 ... Carpinteria marsh ... Cordylanthus maritmus maritimus, (Ferren 1985).
Aug 13 ... Carpinteria marsh ... Juncus textilis, (Ferren 1985).
Aug 13 ... Carpinteria marsh ... Triglochin concinna, (Ferren 1985)
Sep _ _ ... Santa Barbara vicinity ... Veronica Spring in marshy area (SBM 2334), Cyperus niger, Smith 1978

1928
Mar 10 ... Santa Cruz Island ... China Harbor & Scorpion Ranch (Junak 1995)
Mar 11 ... Santa Cruz Island ... China Harbor & Scorpion Ranch (Junak 1995)
May 13 ... Los Olivos, Santa Barbara Co. ... Ovenbird, Brinkerhoff Ranch (Hoffmann 1928).
Jun 21 ... Santa Barbara desk ... writes ovenbird article (Hoffmann 1928).
Aug 31 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Pelican Bay (Junak 1995)
Sep 01 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Pelican Bay (Junak 1995)

1929
Mar _ _ ... Buelton - Lompoc ... edge of meadow Juncus falcatus (SBM 6861, (Smith 1978)
Mar 17 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Scorpion Anchorage and Canyon (Junak 1995).
Mar 22 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Coches Prietos Anchorage (Junak 1995)
Mar 23 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Valley Anchorage (Junak 1995)
Mar 24 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Scorpion Anchorage (Junak 1995)
Mar 29 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Coches Prietos (Junak 1995)
Apr 15 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Baby's Cove (Junak 1995)
Apr 16 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Baby's Cove (Junak 1995)
Apr 16 ... Santa Cruz Island ... rocky slopes, Green Canyon -Agoseris apargioides (Hoffmann 1932a)
May 14 ... Santa Cruz Island ... no location cited (Junak 1995)

1930
Feb 21 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Pelican Bay (Junak 1995)
Mar 15 ... Carpinteria strand ... Malacothrix incana succulenta, (Ferren 1985)
Apr 07 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Hazard's Canyon (Junak 1995)
Apr 10 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Ladys Harbor (Junak 1995)
Apr 11 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Ladys Harbor with Munz and Main Ranch (Junak 1995)
Apr 12 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Main Ranch-1 mi. below under oaks-Sanicula hoffmannii-SBM#11,153, (Hoffmann 1932a)
Jun 11 ... San Miguel Island ... beach ... Heliotropium curassavicum ... (SBBG 079045, SBM8469)
Jun 13 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Valdez Anchorage ... Sanicula hoffmannii (Hoffmann 1932a), and Pelican Harbor (Junak 1995)
Jun 14 ... Santa Cruz Island ... North Ridge, Prisoner's Harbor (Junak 1995)
Jun 15 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Central Valley, Main Ranch, Smugglers' Cove (Junak 1995)
Jun 28 ... Santa Cruz Island
Jun 29 ... Santa Cruz Island
Jun 30 ... Santa Cruz Island
Jul 01 ... Santa Cruz Island
July 11 ... Inyo County ... Westgard Pass (rocky open slope, 7300 feet) ... Cryptantha hoffmannii I.M. Johnston (J.Arn.Arbor. 3:90, 1932)
Aug 06 ... Santa Cruz Island
Aug 07 ... Santa Cruz Island
Sep 04 ... Carpinteria marsh ... Scirpus pungens [S. americanus], (Ferren 1985)
Sep 20 ... Santa Cruz Island
Sep 21 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Scorpion Harbor ... RSA-POM 171573 Bromus carinatus
Sep 22 ... Santa Cruz Island
Sep 22 ... Anacapa Island ... beach ... Heliotropium curassavicum (SBBG 079049, SBM 10467)
Sep 28 ... Santa Cruz Island ... China Harbor (Junak 1995)
Nov 02 ... Carpinteria marsh ... Atriplex watsoni, (Ferren 1985)
Nov 08 ... Santa Cruz Island
Nov 09 ... Santa Cruz Island
Nov 10 ... Santa Cruz Island
Dec 07 ... Santa Cruz Island ...Platts Harbor and Dick's Canyon (Junak 1995)

1931
Feb 08 ... Santa Barbara ... Albert Einstein tour of Museum tour by Hoffmann (Hopkins, 1955) and Hoffmann (1931)
Apr 09 ... Santa Cruz Island ... (Howell 1932)
Apr 10 ... Santa Cruz ISland ... water hole ... RSA 385319 Bromus carinatus
Apr 13 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Pelican Harbor (near) RSA 385320 Bromus carinatus
Apr 15 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Pelican Harbor canon bottom, Owl, (Hoffmann 1931)
Apr 20 ... Carpinteria marsh ... Carex praegracilis, (Ferren 1985)
Apr 25 ... At Desk in Santa Barbara, writes owl article (Hoffmann 1931)
Sep 08 ... Santa Cruz Island
Sep 09 ... Santa Cruz Island
Sep 10 ... Santa Cruz Island
Sep 21 ... Santa Cruz Island
Oct xx ... Frazier Mountain Summit (8000') ... Eriogonum kennedyi (SBM 11501), (Smith 1978)

1932
Feb 20 ... Santa Cruz Island ... birds seen at Pelican Harbor & Prisoners Harbor (Hoffmann 1932b)
Feb 21 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Pelican Harbor (Hoffmann 1932b)
Mar 05 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Prisoner's Harbor ... Ranunculus californicus (Hoffmann 1932a)
Mar 05 ... At desk in Santa Barbara, writes article on bird notes from Santa Cruz Island (Hoffmann 1932b)
Mar 17 ... At desk, edits article for Lydia Weld on winter bird mortality in Antelope Valley, Los Angeles County (Weld 1932)
Mar 21 ... Santa Cruz Island ... mouth of Willow Creek ... Ranunculus californicus (Hoffmann 1932a)
Apr 18 ... Santa Rosa Island ... Water Canyon ... Sanicula hoffmannii, SBM #12,055 and #12,056 (Hoffmann 1932a)
Apr 19 ... San Miguel Island ... above Cuyler's Harbor, Ranunculus californicus (Hoffmann 1932a)
Apr 20 ... San Miguel Island ... northeast end - Ranunculus californicus (Hoffmann 1932a)
May __ ... Santa Rosa Island ... moist mesa Centrunculus minimus, (Smith 1978)
May 18 ... Burton Mesa near Lompoc ... new species of plant discovered in Bishop Pines (Eastwood 1933)
Jun 14 ... Santa Cruz Island ... Pelican Pines (Junak, 1995)
Jul 21 ... San Miguel Island ... Dies from fall on a Cliff (Swanton 1981)


Conclusion
Ralph Hoffmann was a dedicated naturalist and it is significant that he traveled and did field studies in so many interesting places in the Pacific states. Wouldn't it be nice to assemble a guide to his travels in southern California, northeastern California, central California, Oregon, and Washington? It would be of interest if only for the reason of a more complete history and in doing deep ecology and biographical history of Ralph Hoffmann.

For example, in 1924, he traveled to Oregon and Washington, recording birds and making notes for his future book, Birds of the Pacific States. On his return trip to Capinteria, he passed through northeastern California, stopping at Eagle Lake, in Lassen County. According to an article that Ralph wrote (Hoffmann, 1924: 175), while at Eagle Lake, he inspected a "wet meadow near the outlet of the lake." There he found the Wilson Snipe doing a flight perfomance as part of its breeding courtship. He reflected on this snipe behavior as it reminded him of similar observations that he made approximately 30 years ago in Massachusetts. In the 1890s, he was a recent graduate of Harvard University and a school teacher, back at Cambridge, Massachusetts. He recalls for us in the article that he had heard the snipe in the "Fresh Pond marshes" as they were migrating through Cambridge, Massachusetts. And then he discusses that eminent ornithologists in that time period of the 1890s, considered the sounds a "moot point." And then "fast forward" to July 18, 1924, where, from his desk at his Carpinteria home he wrote up an article on his snipe observations in Lassen County, about 1.5 months earlier, on June 1, 1924. He writes that he observed the snipe with "care and was able to come to a definite conclusion." Thus, in this article he has weaved California and Massachusetts together, with some nostalgia, utilizing a bird and its interesting behavior, as a metaphor to tell us some history. In an article by Wyman (1924) is repeated by another ornithologist, but it includes Ralph Hoffmann and Luther Wyman together utilizing their experience from the east coast, to know that they observed and identified correctly a bird, the Pectoral Sandpiper, in the marshes of the Ballona Wetlands in Playa del Rey, Los Angeles County, California.

This brief biography and history article forms part of a larger study as a biography and history project into the 'life and times' of Ralph Hoffmann. And it is also a greater project that is being completed in conjunction with a comparative history of birding and floristic field work by Ralph Hoffmann in Berkshire County and Santa Barbara County. Of course, there are overtones for understanding environmental history and the history of natural history in Massachusetts and California that will also be considered. We also see that he traveled in two other states than California and wrote about those trips. He wrote about birds in both Oregon and Washington. Similarily, he visited and wrote about birds in two other states besidess Massachusetts as a young man. He visited New Hampshire and Rhode Island. It is an interesting bit of serendipity that he explored three states on the east coast and three states on the west coast.

In a very real sense, it is an ambitious project of historical geography, the history of ecology, and biogeography of two microcosms in the United States. It would peer into a part of California, that being Santa Barbara County, as it existed between 1920 and 1932


Acknowledgements
I acknowledge and dedicate this article to Wayne Ferren, who has done so much good solid natural history studies and ecological research, and in such great spirit and confidence, and in many of the same footsteps as Ralph Hoffmann at Carpinteria and elsewhere in Santa Barbara County.

Bibliography and References Cited
Carroll, Mary. 2004. A Garden For All Time: Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Noticias 50(4)/51(1): 1-58.

Eastwood, Alice. 1933. A New Yerba Santa. Leaflets of Western Botany 1(5): 40-41

Ferren, Wayne. 1985. Carpinteria Salt Marsh. The Herbarium, Dept of Biol. Sci., Univ. of Calif. Santa Barbara Publ. 4.

Henderson, H.C. 1920. Black and White Warbler in Carpinteria, California. Condor 32:76-77.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1899. Three plants of Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Rhodora 1:229-230.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1904. Notes on the flora of Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Rhodora 6:202-206.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1920a. A Large Flock of Swans Wintering at Santa Barbara. Condor 22:77.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1920b. Notes on Some Birds of Santa Cruz Island, California. Condor 22:187-188.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1920c. A Raven Pellet. Auk 37:453..

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1921a. A Mating Peformance of The Least Tern. Auk 38: 596-595.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1921b. Black-and-White Warbler Again in Southern California. Condor 23.

Hoffamnn, Ralph. 1921c. Vermilion Flycatcher in Western San Bernardino County in Summer. Condor 23: 166.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1921d. Some Birds of Ventura Coast. Condor 23:xx.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1921e. Eastern Kingbird at Mono Lake, California Condor 23:xx.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1922. Flora of Berkshire County. Proc. Boston Society Natural History 36:171-382.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1922. Supplementary Notes on the Birds of Berskhire Co., Mass. Auk 39:65-72.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1922. Field Notes from Riverside and Imperial Counties, Calif. Condor 24:101.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1923. Random Notes from the Southern Border of Calif. Condor 25:106-107.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1924. Notes from the Vicinity of Santa Barbara. Condor 26: 75.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1924. Notes on the Flight Performance of the Wilson Snipe. Condor 36: 175-176.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1926. Male American Crossbill Feeds Female. Condor 28: 48.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1926. Wood Ibis in Ventura County, California. Condor 28: 47.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1926. Man-o'-war Bird in Ventura County, California. Condor 28: 102.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1926. Lesser Yellowlegs in Western Oregon. Condor 28:94.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1928. An Oven-bird in Santa Barbara County, California. Condor 30: 327.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1931. Oak Trees of Santa Cruz Is. Leaflets, Santa Barbara Mus. Nat. Hist.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1931. Saw-whet Owl and California Woodpecker on Santa Cruz Island. Condor 33: 171.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1932a. Notes on the Flora of the Channel Islands Off Santa Barbara, Calif. Bull. So. Calif. Acad. Sci. 31: 46-60, 101-120.

Hoffmann, Ralph. 1932b. Bird Notes from Santa Cruz Island. Condor 34: 190.

Hopkins, June, 1955. Einstein Visit. Museum Talk 30(2):21-22.

Howell, John Thomas. 1933. "Santa Cruz Island". Leaflets of Western Botany 1.

Huey, Lawrence. 1924. Notes from Southern and Lower California. Condor 36:74-75.

Johnston, Ivan M. 1932. 'new species-holotype at Gray Herbarium. Journal of Arnold Arboretum 3:90.

Junak, Steve, et. al. 1995. A Flora of Santa Cruz Island, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

Saunders, Charles Francis 1927. The Wild Gardens of Old California. Published at Santa Barbara.

Smith, Clifton. 1998. Flora of the Santa Barbara Region. Santa Barbara Bot. Gard.

Swanton, Harold. 1981. Ralph Hoffmann: unsung guide to the birds. Natural History 90: 20-30.

Weatherbee, Pamela. 1996. Flora of Berkshire County, Mass. The Berkshire Museum.

Weld, Lydia. 1932. Mortality Among Birds in Antelope Valley, California. Condor 34: 137-138.

Wyman, Luther. 1924. The Pectoral Sandpiper in Southern California. Condor 26(1): 36.

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