Don’t pick the flowers
To the Editor:
One side of my home is along Tuolumne Road. Every spring and summer wild sunflowers grow along the fence line. I’ve had people mention how they enjoy this spot of brightness on their daily drive to and from work or town.
Lately, some people have been picking armloads of these sunflowers.
When you pick wildflowers it leaves fewer for others to enjoy. There will be less flowers to drop seeds.
Without seeds there will be even fewer flowers next year.
Also, in some areas it may even be illegal to pick any wildflowers. Please, stop and take a photo instead. It will last longer. Leave the flowers for all to enjoy.
To the Editor,
The news was shocking when the phone rang at my parents’ Carmel home on a September day in 1960 with the stunning news that the fiance of my classmate from fifth grade through Carmel High School, Jean Elston, had been killed in an accident near Groveland where she was a lookout for the Forest. Little could I have imagined that day, that 10 years later in 1970, I would move to Tuolumne County and go to work for the Stanislaus National Forest, ultimately having a 22-year career, mostly in fire management.
In 1960, I could never have imagined that most of my adult life would be centered around that occupation and those places like “Woods Ridge” and “Jawbone Creek.” When I next saw my childhood chum, Jean Elston, beloved fiance of Rodger McLean, almost 19 years would have passed (1979) — an old memory rekindled again tonight from a front page story in The Union Democrat nearly 53 years later. A ‘fire family’ as was mentioned in the article, I have a son, CDF Battalion Chief, Barry Rudolph that still protects and serves. It is a proud association that all of us “that serve” keep forever.
Connie (Varvandakis) O’Connor
Retired Assistant Forest Dispatcher,
Stanislaus National Forest
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Weekly Arts and entertainment guide for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties