Saturday, March 7. 2009
Yesterday I posted some photos, but two of them turned out to be of invasive non-native weeds. In researching them I found that they are actually edible and quite healthy. So you can do nature and yourself some good if you just eat them! (But be sure you know what you are picking.)
Here is some Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) that grows in a low, damp area along the trail I ride on.
They grow in abundance in one area:
From what I've read, they are very common and often grow in masses like this. The leaves are said to be edible raw or cooked and have a mild minty flavor.
Another plant which often grows with Henbit is Chickweed (Stellaria sp., perhaps Stellaria media). And here it is:
Chickweed can be eaten raw in salads or steamed. I will try some and report back on it.
Friday, March 6. 2009
Yeah, the desert wildflowers are getting all the press, but we've got a lot of pretty flowers here in chaparral country, too. Here are some photos from a couple of recent bike rides I took in the San Dieguito River Park.
There is a low place along the trail just before you start the climb up to Raptor Ridge. Willows grow there and miner's lettuce and such. Willows are important to the Least Bell's vireo. Right after the Witch fire of 2007 the rangers went around sticking Mule Fat twigs in the ground. A couple of them took root in that same area and are starting to bloom already. I have seen a Least Bell's vireo in the area pretty regularly lately.
Here are some poppys. Are they California poppies or something else? Notice how red the stalks and leaves of the plant are:
The Perry's Phacelia are just starting to bloom. Here are some with some overexposed Sun Cups and Popcorn flowers.
So if you don't have time to drive all the way out to Anza Borrego, go poke around your own local patch of wildland and see what you can find. You might be surprised.
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