Monday, November 16, 2009

Native Plant Sale & Book Signing by Marvin Trotter at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve

Made my annual trek to the Fall native plant sale at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve this past Saturday.

Only picked up 3 plants (versus my usual dozen) this time around, since we didn't get there until after noon, and I'm sure the best selections had been gotten earlier in the day. So my bounty consisted of Western Columbine (Aquilegia formosa), Quailbush (Atriplex lentiformis), and Mahonia 'Golden Abundance.'

My main objective, however, was to go the book signing by Mrs. Marvin Trotter at the Plateau's visitor center. Her newly published book "Plants of the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve" is certainly long overdue - I've been waiting for years for someone to catalog all the plants on the reserve in book form, and it's finally happened! On the cover is the endemic Santa Rosa Plateau Basalt Brodiaea (Brodiaea santarosae) recently discovered by Tom Chester, Kay Madore and Wayne Armstrong.

I had a chance to talk briefly with Mrs. Trotter as we were waiting for the ink to dry on her inscription in the book I had just purchased. Such a wonderful lady, only 84 years young, and with an impeccable sense of humor. With a twinkle in her eye, she told me that she had to use a black felt-tipped marker for the book signings so she could see what she was writing, and also chatted about her vegetable garden and citrus trees on her Wildomar property.

Mrs. Marvin Trotter showing some of the photographs taken for her new book (photo by Bill Wechter, staff photographer for the North County Times)

Mrs. Marvin Trotter at her Wildomar home, with the Canon Rebel 35mm camera she used to take many of the photos for her new book (photo by Bill Wechter, staff photographer for the North County Times).

This book, which she started with her husband (who subsequently passed away) back in 2004, was clearly a labor of love and a culmination of her many years of photographing the plants in this area. Wow, a woman after my own heart! Gilbert and I had been visiting and (I) photographing plants on the reserve since 1997. In fact, we relocated from LA County all the way out to La Cresta primarily because of its proximity to the Santa Rosa Plateau. And, we're still commuting every day to LA & Orange Counties to work. It's all about lovin' where you live. Mrs. Trotter, you are a true inspiration!

Marvin Trotter was featured in an article published on November 14, 2009 in The Californian: "Local woman publishes book on plants: Work catalogs more than 600 Santa Rosa Plateau species" (source of the above photos).

All proceeds from the book sales (cost is $40 and 100% tax deductible) will go to the Santa Rosa Plateau Foundation, supporting educational programs for elementary school children at the reserve. For more info, check out the Foundation's website at

1 comment:

  1. When I first started working as a docent at the Reserve it was the Trotters' photos that I used to get me up to speed on identifying flowers.