Saturday, February 9. 2008
wildbird in Plant Inventory
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Continuing from yesterday, not all of my photos required the kneepads. Janet is the plant IDer here at our house and she is out weeding right now, so if I get any wrong, don't be shy about telling me!
Here is the first bloom of California buckwheat at our house.
I think this next one is California Sagebrush. There is quite a bit of it growing on our land. It is an important ingredient in California gnatcatcher habitat. The gnatcatcher maps show their habitat extending right up to our property line, but left us out. Who can fathom the mind of the bureaucrat? Anyway, we are trying to encourage these shrubs in the hope that they may provide cover for some of the gnatcatchers that were displaced by the fires last October. (Just click this picture if you want to see a bigger one.)
We don't know what the following plant is. It is low growing. This photo covers a width of a couple of feet. Maybe we'll catch it when it blooms and ID it that way. If you recognize it, please let me know. [We have a suggestion of Mirabilis laevis - Wishbone - for this one, and another suggestion of Mirabilis californica. Janet has been thinking Mirabilis, too. Maybe we'll know for sure when they bloom.]
I am kind of embarrassed about this next photo. Janet says the plant is Deer weed. But you might have a hard time realizing it from this photo. It's almost as hard to see in real life. That's the thing about this chaparral: it is all intertwined. It's difficult to go through and even difficult to see as individual plants. I will have to put some work into learning how to photograph it.
Janet has spotted a weed and pounced. Notice she wears a long-sleeved denim shirt, even though it was a hot day? The chaparral will get you if you let your guard down!
Janet thinks these next plants are Pincushion, but she isn't sure. They're still pretty small, but growing rapidly. These were in the shade, as were most, but not all, of them. (The bright spot is a bit of sun shining through the Laurel sumac canopy.) If you click the photo you can see a bigger image. [Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia - Common Eucrypta - has been suggested. Janet researched that and agrees that it is very possible, but we'll wait until it blooms to be sure.]
Here you'll see some of the possible Pincushions along with what looks like some more of the Phacelia campanularia that we ID'd here on the blog last year.
We have found three or four Wood rat nests on the property. This is one of them. I suppose this pile of dry twigs is a fire hazard, but we can't bring ourselves to put the rats out of a home. (Nor do we wish to drive them into ours.)
The Indian cucumber is blooming...
And finally, another reason not to clear the chaparral. This is our neighbor's lot - this is the land next to us which is included on the California gnatcatcher habitat map. They cleared it and now it is a weedy, eroding mess.
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