I intended to offer you a beautiful photo spread illustrating purple needle grass, California poppies, live oaks, and the rare hospital canyon larkspur. But for the want of the correct "little dongly thing" (to quote Douglas Adams) I cannot show you these things. All of those photos will stay snug in my camera until I locate the cord that matches the camera.
The Writery Part of this Post
Apart from taking in the beauty of the East Bay area of California, the invigorating exercise, and the pure joy of back to back sneezes (yay allergies), guided hikes such as this one are research. For my WIP, I need to know the native plants of California, what plants where introduced by the early Spanish settlers, and what plants are recent additions to the landscape. I can look all of that up in books, sure- but to walk in nature is to walk into my novel. I can wander the rolling hills and be with Poppy and Rick (my characters) in their travels.
How about you, do you take your research on the road? Do you need to take plants and animals into consideration when you're writing? If you're writing historical fiction, you'll want to learn about the plants that grew in an area at the time you're writing.
If you're inventing a land in fantasy or science fiction, you can take ideas from real nature and "create" plants. Think about the climate on your fictional planet. Is it tundra? Research real life tundra vegetation. Is it desert? Go out to a desert and get inspired to create realistic yet fictional plants. Joshua Tree National Park would be a good start. If that place doesn't look alien, I don't know what does.
|Joshua Tree National Park|