Laura, owner of Wild Rootz, brings passion and years of outdoor experience to her nature tours and specialty workshops. Certified as a California Naturalist and Chaparral Guide, Master Gardener, professionally trained in Therapeutic Herbal Medicine, Herbal Phytotherapy and Passionate Equestrian Rider. Her teachings cover a wide array of captivating and inspiring topics including; California ecosystems, plants and animals, ethnobotany, therapeutic usage of native plants and herbs, landscaping with California natives, the benefits of healthy cooking, and organic gardening.
My story really begins back in the ’60s, when my parents moved our family from Berkley to Northern California to start a new wholesome life. Yes, you guessed it, they were "urban-hippie-homesteaders". Their dream was to get away from the big city, move back to nature, and live self-sustaining off the land. They purchased 180 acres of raw land and transformed it into a productive, small farm. Everything was built from scratch roads, water supply, home and barns. Our family tended and raised cows, goats, sheep, pigs, horses and chickens, most of which provided us with food throughout the year. We all worked hours tending orchards, livestock and vegetable gardens. Yep! a lot of work responsible for shaping me into the adventurist women I am today... and as my grandpa used to say, “nothing worth having is easy" and holly crap was he right!
As a child I loved being outside, in fact most of my growing years were spent outside exploring the wild. Surrounded by hundreds of miles of beautiful, densely-packed, flora and fauna, running streams, oak groves, coniferous forest and the amazing majestic redwoods, shaping me into the naturalist I am today. Back in those days there were no boundaries between the land owners allowing for a "Wild Child" like myself a huge range of freedom to explore Northern California’s spectacular beauty.
THE COWGIRL, HERBALIST, FORAGER
I loved the freedom of riding my horse through the untamed landscape with a very special Native American friend. She taught me many fascinating ways to use wild plants as food and medicine. Most of our rides consisted of searching for delicious huckleberries, thimbleberries, currants, wild strawberries and puffball mushrooms yum!! I never needed to pack a lunch all you had to do is know where to look! Wild animals where everywhere...so on one of my adventures while picking huckleberries a family of berry-loving black bears decided to join us! Neither myself, or my pony, liked this encounter and since momma bear growled GET OUT we respectfully dropped our berries and hightailed it out of there!
NATURE'S HAPPY PLACE
Nature and spirituality have always gone hand in hand for me. I find that the outdoors makes it easy to be my childhood self, a place of a calm and rejuvenation for both mind and body. One of my earliest memories of using nature for refuge and meditation was when I would sit with my dog Ginger next to a little stream on our farm and watch how the water would flow over the hundreds of colorful rocks that sparkled with gold flecks of iron pyrite (also known as fool’s gold). The calming effect of the stream and the warmth of my dog cuddled up close to me was like a big loving hug from nature. I call this my happy place.
What can I say about my photography?.... I love capturing the little things nature offers that we don't normally take the time to stop and observe. I'm always in complete astonishment on how incredibly complicated and beautiful our planet truly is, and how lucky I am to be able to capture a small piece of it!