Secrets of the Oak Woodlands at the Willits Library

Thursday Apr 20 2017   5:30 PM
Willits Library  390 E Commercial St, Willits, CA  map

The Willits Library is hosting a book talk, “Secrets of the Oak Woodlands,” by Kate Marianchild on Thursday, April 20, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 390 East Commercial Street.

The author and naturalist will read and discuss favorite passages from her book, Secrets of the Oak Woodlands: Plants and Animals among California’s Oaks, focusing on California buckeye, California quail, coyote, California ground squirrel, and lace lichen. She will invite audience members to share recent observations of these species and ask questions about anything they might be wondering about. “I like to encourage wondering,” Kate says. “It was my wonderings about the wonders of the oak woodlands that wrote my book.”

As Kate reads and talks, an image of the species being discussed will be projected on the screen behind her—in most cases a lovely watercolor by Willits artist Ann Maglinte, the illustrator of Kate’s book. Kate will set out a table of fascinating “show-and-tell” items, including birds’ nests, colorful oak galls, silk moth pupal cases, shells of the native redwood sideband snail, and wildflowers. She encourages audience members also to bring “show-and-tell” items they have found in the wild.

Kate MarianchildWhen Kate Marianchild migrated to the oak woodlands of inland Mendocino County in 2001, she promptly fell in love with an ecosystem. After writing for Audubon and other nature-oriented nonprofits for several years, she began the research that led to the writing of this book. Marianchild studied Chinese language and literature at UC Berkeley and New Asia College in Hong Kong, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Berkeley with a degree in comparative literature. Following years of grassroots political activism, she moved to Mendocino County in 1980 and supported herself as a carpenter while founding and running Rising Tide Sea Vegetables, a company that is still thriving today under new ownership. For the past thirteen years she has lived in a cozy twenty-five-foot-diameter yurt with no indoor plumbing except a sink and a two-gallon hot water heater. In addition to watching wildlife, leading nature walks, and giving slide presentations, Marianchild sings with two community choirs, kayaks, swims, and participates in the events of her beloved community. (Kate Marianchild was known as Kathy Roberts before she changed her name to honor her deceased mother.)