Lake County, CA

Photo: Des Callaghan
group photo
Happy days are here again

April 30 – May 3, 2021
Saratoga Springs Retreat Center in western Lake County, California
Coordinators: Ed Dearing, David Toren, and Bill Thiessen

SO BE FREE 25 was held in western Lake County, California, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, in the heart of the North Coast Ranges. We were based at the Saratoga Springs Retreat Center. Geologic substrates in the area include deep marine sandstones west of Highway 101 and the vast and varied Franciscan melange to the east with its pockets of sedimentary, serpentine, metavolcanic, and metasedimentary rock. Habitats visited ranged from chaparral and oak woodland, to rich riparian zones and redwood forest. Vernal pools, streams, and mineral springs added to the great diversity of bryophytes observed.

In addition to a number of field trips, there was a Saturday morning beginners’ session, evening presentations and discussions, and the annual business meeting of the Bryophyte Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. All participants greatly enjoyed being able to interact with their fellow bryologists after a long year of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A list of species we encountered can be found in our newsletter here.

Full report with additional photos in our newsletter here.

People in a classroom
Beginner session


people along bank
Road cut dripping with plants