WILD WOMAN
GIVEN UP ALL THAT WEALTH COULD AFFORD AND
THE PLEASURES OF A SOCIAL CAREER
TO LIVE HER LIFE ON CATALINA!
BOTANIZED ARDENTLY ON HER ISLAND
STANDING ON A HIGH RIDGE BEYOND AVALON
IN THE MOONLIGHT SHADOWS FAR IN THE NIGHT
IN SILENT WORSHIP OF THE SEA AND AIR
CONTROLLED BY LOVE OF STRANGE BEAUTY AND MYSTICISM

BLANCHE TRASK
acknowledged by
Willis Linn Jepson
1908 to 1937
in
SILVA OF CALIFORNIA, 1908
TREES OF CALIFORNIA, 1910
FLORA OF CALIFORNIA, 1937
FIELD JOURNAL, 1908
FIELD JOURNAL, 1916

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. However, she did travel to the deserts of the west as well and we know this through her correspondence such as in the following letter. Many people have acknowledged her contritubitions over the last 100 years.

Scientists, in particular, have noted her contributions, such as Dr. Willis Linn Jepson, the most famous California Botanist, Professor of Botany at the University of California, and author of 8 books on California botany, including two books on Trees.

Willis Jepson recognized the botanical exploration accomplishments of Blanche Trask in many ways.

A letter to Willis Jepson, written from Arizona, shows that Blanche Trask did appreciate the desert landscape-scene of the southwest but the California Channel Islands is her "sense of place." Indeed, the Channel Islands have a bit of a "desert feel" to them. The Geography of Hope for Blanche Trask is undoubtedly Santa Catalina Island.

The above narrative and quotes by Willis Jepson were written and compiled by Robert Roy van de Hoek, December 3, 2000, for educational purposes in hopes of someday adding the three remaining southern Channel Islands to Channel Islands National Park.



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