P91228KThis . . . was a ball field. It might eventually be one again. The old backstop at the upper left corner of the picture is almost completely obscured under a thicket of blackberry brambles and a fallen boxelder. It would need to be replaced. So would the decommissioned irrigation system, all the bases, the basepath, the turf . . . and everything else that goes into a functional ball field.

The turf had naturalized and overwhelmed the basepath long before last year. I collected wild mustard, radish and turnip greens from around the perimeter last spring and summer. By the time they were finishing, the blackberries were ready. I got stinging nettle from the bank of Zayante Creek in the background of this picture. Dock is already regenerating off to the far right.

There are naturalized wildflowers here too. I got pictures of perennial pea, purpletop vervain, Saint John’s wort, four o’clock, calla, narcissus, teasel, common thistle and California poppy, all within the perimeter of this ball field. Native trees include Douglas fir, California bay, California buckeye, bigleaf maple, white alder, cottonwood, coast live oak, canyon live oak and redwood.

The ball field looks like the moon now only because a construction company used it as a parking lot for trucks and machinery. We dumped excess soil removed from landscapes on the infield, where it was evenly dispersed by the machinery before it left. A low mound of road debris remains just past the foul line in the background. Firewood gets stocked out of view to the far left.

Restoring this meadow to a ball field would be like starting from scratch. The only salvageable asset is the flat space. Even though turf would be the most substantial feature of a finished ball field, a restoration project will involve more engineering and construction than horticulture.

6 thoughts on “Field Of . . . ?

  1. Well, I guess if you don’t build it, we already know who will come — the list of forbs and trees you provided is pretty substantial. Is there interest in turning it into a ball field? Could the community use it? More to the point, I suppose — is there someone to fund it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is part of the Conference Center where I work part of the week. One of the camps is right across a bridge off to the right. Some of the facilities have been in the process of being remodeled for quite a while. As they are completed, and more guests can be accommodated, a ball field would be nice. It will be used for archery and as a small athletic field too.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is rather sandy and stays remarkably friable. The richer soil that was spread out over the surface did not make it any more muddier. I can’t even see where the soil went! It seems to be as sandy as it had always been. If it were more exposed, turf would need to be irrigated very generously in such soil.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s