Sunday, September 5, 2010

Treks on the Santa Rosa Plateau: August Blooms & Berries on Waterline Road

As I mentioned in my last post, I don't exactly know what area in the vicinity of the Visitor Center at the Santa Rosa Plateau was burned in the recent "Clinton" fire. Hopefully not Waterline Road, as we saw many wonderful late summer blooms & berries when we hiked out there on August 29th. We're planning to drive out to the Visitor Center tomorrow morning to see if it's even open, and if so, enquire with the rangers on what happened and which areas were affected. 


In the meantime, here are some shots of our trek on Waterline Road last Sunday:


8/29/10 Waterline Road.


8/29/10 Waterline Road.

8/29/10 1st cross drainage (from visitor center), Waterline Road.

8/29/10 California Goldenrod (Solidago californica). Waterline Road.




8/29/10 California Goldenrod (Solidago californica). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Western Ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Indian Milkweed (Asclepias eriocarpa). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Narrowleaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Vinegarweed (Trichostema lanceolata). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 California Aster (Corethrogyne filaginifolia). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Bristly Bird's Beak (Cordylanthus rigidus ssp. setigerus). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 California Everlasting (Gnaphalium californicum). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 San Diego Tarweed (Hemizonia paniculata). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 2nd cross drainage (from Visitor Center), Waterline Road.

8/29/10 2nd cross drainage (from Visitor Center), Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Waterline Road.

8/29/10 2nd cross drainage (from Visitor Center), Waterline Road.

8/29/10 California Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum). Waterline Road. 

8/29/10 Spanish Clover (Lotus purshianus var. purshianus). 1st cross drainage (from Visitor Center), Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Hooker's Evening Primrose (Oenothera elata ssp. hirsutissima). 2nd cross drainage (from Visitor Center), Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule). 2nd cross drainage (from Visitor Center), Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Southern Skullcap (Scutellaria bolanderi ssp. austromontana). 2nd cross drainage (from Visitor Center), Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Spike Primrose (Epilobium densiflorum). 2nd cross drainage (from Visitor Center), Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Spearmint (Mentha spicata var. spicata). Non-native. 2nd cross drainage (from Visitor Center), Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Southern Honeysuckle (Lonicera subspicata var. denudata). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Southern Honeysuckle (Lonicera subspicata var. denudata). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Hollyleaf Redberry (Rhamnus ilicifolia). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Hollyleaf Redberry (Rhamnus ilicifolia). Waterline Road.

Here are a couple I haven't been able to identify yet:

8/29/10 2nd cross drainage (from Visitor Center), Waterline Road.

8/29/10 Waterline Road near Visitor Center. 

8/29/10 Waterline Road near Visitor Center. 

8/29/10 Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus). Waterline Road.

8/29/10 California Sister (Adelpha bredowii). Waterline Road. 

 
8/29/10 California Sister (Adelpha bredowii). Waterline Road. 

UPDATE: A few extras to add to the mix, from our 9/6/10 hike on Waterline Road.


9/6/10 Rabbit's Foot Grass (Polypogon mospeliensis). 1st cross drainage, Waterline Road.

9/6/10 Arroyo Willow (Salix lasiolepis). 1st cross drainage, Waterline Road.

9/6/10 Bristly Bird's Beak (Cordylanthus rigidus ssp. setigerus). Waterline Road.

9/6/10 California Fuchsia (Epilobium canum ssp. canum). Waterline Road at 1st cross drainage. 

9/6/10 Seaside/Wild Heliotrope (Heliotropium curassavicum). Waterline Road at 1st cross drainage. 

9/6/1o San Diego Wreathplant (Stephanomeria diegensis). Waterline Road.

9/6/10 What is this? Something in the Buckwheat family (Polygonaceae)? Vista Grande Trail. 

9/6/10 Narrowleaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis). Waterline Road.

9/6/10 Some sort of Checkerspot? Waterline Road.

9/6/10 A pair of (ahem) bawdy skippers. Waterline Road.

9/6/10 Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus). Waterline Road.

8 comments:

  1. I hope you find the visitor centre still open!

    As I saw the first few photos everything looked such a golden brown colour but as I scrolled down the pages I was actually amazed at how many wildflowers you still have in bloom in California in September. We've hardly anything in bloom here. Even your lovely little butterfly camouflages itself into the background of plants.

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  2. Rosie, I was amazed too. This was the first time I hiked out on the plateau in summer, so I didn't expect to find much. Of course, the riparian areas were the most floriferous, but there are a few hardy chaparral denizens that put forth some lovely blooms even in the stifling heat of August.

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  3. You asked about mousebirds? Because of 'hairlike plumage and the habit of crawling around in trees' A bit like parrots? Even in high summer, if you take time to look around, something is blooming!

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  4. Elephant's Eye, what a curious and unusual bird that mousebird is. They're so different from the birds we have here. And, indeed, summer is not totally bereft of color or blooms. You just have to look harder to find them.

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  5. Your photos are a great reminder of the kinds of things that can burn up in one of those errant fires.

    Your photo of the cocklebur makes me laugh: The first native plant I saw in the wilds and started from seed was this plant. It wasn't in bloom and I'd confused it with a datura, and I was really disappointed when the flowers weren't anything like the datura's.

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  6. Yes indeed, James, the dry herbage (especially the assorted grasses and buckwheat) are pure fodder for fire. Cocklebur=Datura? Now that's a side splitter! Only because that sounds like a combo I myself would be inclined to conflate.

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  7. I'm really impressed at the diversity of plants still in bloom there in late August. I think the last of our tarweeds were done by then, but we do still have some nettles in bloom. I hope that not too much was lost to the fire, although having said that, we do have a number of natives in California that depend on the fire cycle for seed germination.

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  8. Clare, it's amazing what's still in bloom & fruit in our dry chaparral this late in the season. As for the fire, we were lucky with the visitor center spared, only a small portion of one trail closed, and that the fire didn't jump the road over into our rural community of La Cresta. You're absolutely right though, that fire is often needed to crack open those hard seed coats of some of our natives. It may also spur some unique blooms ("fire followers") which sometimes occur in the wake of our wildfires. Can't wait 'til spring to find out!

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