Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy Earth Day

by Duncan Bell and Kim Clark

On Saturday the 20th we wandered into the Algodones Dunes Wilderness to help some visiting botanists from Sweden locate the unusual Pholisma sonorae (desert sand food). We searched for hours in near 100 degree temps, finally locating a few individuals. This species is under great threat from off highway recreational vehicles, and even in the closed wilderness area this rare plant was difficult to locate.
Pholisma sonorae, 1B.2                            by Kim Clark

We joined up with Dave and Ed from the San Diego Chapter, and camped Saturday evening in spectacular McCain Valley.  Sunday morning the 21st (happy birthday John Muir!) we visited a number of populations of Linanthus bellus (desert beauty) that are only known from a few localities in California.  In McCain Valley, they are now under threat from the Tule wind project that  begins bulldozing in the very near future.
Linanthus bellus, 2.3                                                             by Kim Clark

We spent the rest of Sunday in the Table Mountain ACEC (Area of Critical Environmental Concern) and we were greatly rewarded by a number of rare plant species including Ipomopsis tenulifolia (slender leaved skyrocket) which in California is only really found in the Jacumba Mountain area. These rare plant species have a greater level of conservation being within the boundaries of the  ACEC and it is a reminder that many of our plant species and their habitats are fragile and need special protection.
Ipomopsis tenuifolia, 2.3                                                         by Kim Clark

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rare Finds in Rice Valley

by Kim Clark and Duncan Bell

Full riot gear was needed in Rice Valley last weekend with bloomers coming at us from every direction.  The insects were likewise profuse, and reptiles and birds in turn, right up the food chain.  Go, explore, enjoy and protect.

Here's just a sample:

Nemacaulis denudata gracilis, 2.2                                                                  by Duncan Bell
This is the first occurrence for Rice Valley and the eastern most collection for Riverside County.

Androstephium breviflorum, 2.2                                                     by KimClark

Astragalus insularis var. harwoodii, 2.2                                                    by Kim Clark

Castela emoryi, 2.3, lots of recruitment!                                                     by Kim Clark

Eriastrum harwoodii, 1B.2                                                                              by Kim Clark

Eriastrum harwoodii, 1B.2                                                                               by Kim Clark