Saturday, April 30, 2011
A Second Tale of Survival
[The tale will be posted later this evening or tomorrow a.m.] As the folk art plaque reads, "Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." 5/1/2011 a.m. Going on another hike to Nelson Creek today and will undoubtedly come back with some interesting stuff. However, here are some comments on yesterday's photos:
Two places where plants struggle to survive struck me yesterday. One, of course, is the roadsides, trail sides, and track sides where humans have cut through the native vegetation and soil. That not only disturbs the native flora and fauna, it creates a kind of "open sore" into which the ever-present seeds of outsiders wait for opportunities to take root. These are the ones we call weeds. Some we consider ugly and some we consider beautiful. We angry at the ones who seem to be "taking over." In this latter category are often Star Thistle and Scotch Broom. The top three photos here feature Butter and Eggs, AKA Johnny Jump-Up. It's gracing the roadsides around Quincy right now, and so far I haven't seen it in a place where it might be considered a threat. If CalTrans comes along with mowers and/or poisons, it won't be because of Johnny Jump-Up. It'll be because of impairment of view for motor traffic - tall stuff like Sweet Clover, Teasel, Scotch Broom, etc. But everything else goes with it! For now, you get a good close-up view of this beuatiful little member of the Figwort family, Scrophulariaceae, on the roadside in East Quincy near the Chinese restaurant and road to the jail, and also on Lee Road, across from the veterinary clinic near the horse pasture. The second photo down shows a co-survivor, Filaree. The bottom two photos feature Whitlow Grass and Star Flower, the former in the Mustard family and the latter a Saxifrage. These two are surviving on rugged cliffs above Nelson Creek, a place subject to rock slides, foot traffic, and other disturbances as well as summer drought a bit earlier than the open fields. These two manage to get through their reproductive cycles before disasters wipe them out. This post is a tribute to survivors of all sorts.