Kal ZoneBlog

Sounds of Samuel P. Taylor State Park

May 16, 2011


Last Monday afternoon, May 9, 2011, I spent some time in Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Marin County, California, recording the sounds of a small side creek flowing down the north slope of Bolinas Ridge into Lagunitas Creek. I had been there the previous week with my friend Paul Vornhagen, and resolved to come back with some recording equipment to capture the sounds of the place while the creeks were still going strong with spring runoff. Here's the recording. Feel free to download it and put it on your iPod:

A creek in the redwoods, 17'06. The recording has some wind noise and, if you listen very carefully, some isolated cars and trucks on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, maybe a quarter-mile away.

The surrounding forest is second-growth redwoods, not as ancient as Muir Woods, but quieter. Maybe a little too quiet. With few visitors, it is on the list of 70 California state parks [to] fall to [the] budget ax, given the structural inability of the state to balance its budget. In the current political climate taxes are considered so onerous that anyone proposing a tax increase must come up with two-to-one vote advantage: in the state legislature it takes a two-thirds supermajority to raise taxes. This means that a one-third minority in the legislature can "win" the tax debate and obstruct any attempt to raise taxes, even for worthy causes such as public education or saving state parks.

So enjoy S.P. Taylor State Park while you can. After this summer, it's likely to be chained shut, given that the state can no longer "afford" such luxuries as public parks. Meanwhile, listen to the recording to hear what you'll be missing.

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