Stone Age Skills





Flora & Fauna


Primitive Creations


Honoring Mentors




Privacy Policy

Wildwood Survival


Engaging in the natural processes that sustain us...
Stone Age Skills

Cienega Seca Creek Trail Hike - July 26 2005
Part 1 - Tracks, Insects, Plants

As I prepared for today’s hike, I stuffed my brand-new Jansport backpack (I love the multitudes of pockets they incorporate into the design) with water, food, camera, Mr. Bunny, rock hammer, and ziploc bags for collecting things. Besides the laminator, ziploc bags are the greatest boon to naturalists who live in wet climates (like the Olympic Peninsula of WA).

I didn’t get more than 100 feet from my residence when I stumbled across these:

I’m no good at tracking, but what else would these be but black bear?

We have many rodents around here, including the Deer Mouse, Kangaroo Rat, Western Grey Squirrel, CA Ground Squirrel, Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel, Merriam Chipmunk, Dusky-Footed Wood Rat, and Valley Pocket Gopher.
Well, on to Cienega Seca Creek and its accompanying trail.

The trailhead, which is less than 200 feet from my residence. Notice the Great Basin Sagebrush and the greener Rabbit Brush adorning the trailside. The creek (8” wide at the moment) is to the right of the trail. It ducks under Arroyo Willow shrubs for most of its journey to the Santa Ana River.
Even though my new digital camera (Casio Exilim EX-Z750) cost nearly $500 and sports a 7.2 megapixel capacity, my lack of photography knowledge prevents me from taking focused pictures of small items, like insects. In order for me to get this centipede and the following spider picture to come out decently, I upped the resolution from the standard “e-mail” pics I usually take and cropped the resulting focused-but- “far-away” pics with Dell Image
Expert software.
It's so cute!
Termites? Reminds me of I-10… (Thank Gaia I never learned how to drive)
No, earwigs do not crawl into people’s ears. They have absolutely no reason to…
Jerusalem Cricket - Raw, they taste a bit like battery acid or metal. Well, our sewer system is nearby…
Botany, especially ethnobotany, fascinates me. It is wondrous that there are so many useful plants wherever I roam. I’ve lived and taught in intertidal, chaparral, oldgrowth forest, boreal forest, temperate rainforest, foothill, sub-alpine, and desert environments. I’d estimate that, in each of these biomes, approximately 95% of the local botanicals are edible and/or medicinal, not to mention physically useful for tool handles, friction fire, cordage, etc. I hope to put together an article illustrating the usefulness of local plants soon.

Juniperus occidentalis var. australis (sierra juniper) berries

Pinus monophylla (pinyon pine) This is where commercial pine nuts come from!
Penstemon labrosus (san gabriel beard's tongue)
Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) Did you know that stinging nettle stem juice is an effective remedy for the sting that the formic acid-filled hairs induce?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is Lomatium nevadense (biscuit root).
Monardella linoides (pennyroyal) grows wild around here. Rub the foliage on your skin—an effective insect repellent.
Stachys albens (Hedge Nettle or Wood Mint)
Part 2 will be a pictorial exposé on the rocks one can meet along the trail…

Stone Age Skills website at - by Storm
All of the material on this website is Copyright by Walter Muma
Hosted and maintained by Walter Muma & Wildwood Survival