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March 25, 1861: Santa Barbara

March 25, 2011

Santa Barbara Harbor at night; by happyfunpaul, on Flickr

Camp 19

parry's larkspur - delphinium parryi

Delphinium parryi; by randomtruth, on Flickr

This is so notorious a place for horse stealing and robbery that we have kept guard since we have been here. We divide the night into three watches, the first until twelve, the second until three, the next until morning. I have the midnight watch, and it is so clear and light by the bright moon that I will add a word. These clear nights it is rather pleasant than otherwise. The clear sky above, the twinkling stars—to watch them rise over the mountains in the northeast and sink out of sight in the west, to watch the moon rise from the waves as it does in its wane—all this is pleasant. And the roar of the surf, coming up like that of some mighty waterfall, is continual music. But not so the foggy nights. For near two weeks the air was very foggy and wet—unpleasant wet days followed by wetter nights. Then the watches were anything but pleasant—sky black, nothing visible at any distance, beard and clothes dripping with wet, the camp fire light scarcely penetrating the gloom for a few feet, the roar of the ocean coming up dull and sullen on the thick air. Watching such nights is by no means poetical, and it awoke musings and memories of a very different fireside but a short year ago1.

pipestems - clematis lasiantha

Clematis lasiantha; by randomtruth, on Flickr

Specimens collected: Umbellularia californica; Pterostegia drymarioides; Delphinium parryi subsp. maritimum; Clematis lasiantha; Crassula connata var. erectoides; Crassula connata var. eremica.

1Before the deaths of his wife (June 5, 1860) and infant son (July 12, 1860).

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