Sunday, May 6, 2012

Slate Creek Road, Part 2

I included photos of brightly-colored, blooming flowers in yesterday's post.  Today I'm including the less-colorful, but equally interesting sights along Slate Creek Road.  One of my favorite discoveries was an area where Striped Coralroot, Corallorhiza striata, is making an appearance.  The sequence of three photos shows that with slight variations of soil, insolation, and perhaps other factors, results in quite a range of stages.  The furthest along might bloom within another week, while others probably have a month to go, and they were all found within a 25-foot radius of my initial landing.  Further along the road, in a very wet roadside ditch, was a cluster of yellow plants that looked to me like Northern Coralroot, Corallorhiza trifida, but I'm not so confident of this one.  No fully-developed flowers yet, and this one is uncommon so I'm not so familiar with its stages of development.  Soon these will be emerging from the undergrowth near Oakland Camp where, last year, I made a positive identification.  Then I can compare.  The next photo is of Pinedrops, Pterospora anromedea, a member of the heath family, Ericaeae.  This is a still-standing, dried-out specimen from last summer.  When fresh, these are often confused with the coralroots by the uninitiated.  Ericaceae is also the family of Manzanita and Madrone and various Wintergreens.  The next photo is of a species of Phacelia, in the waterleaf family, Hydrophyllaceae. 
I can only write for so long before I have to include some sort of bug.  So, the bug of the day is the Cockroach.  I rather like Cockroaches in California because i've yet to encounter one indoors.  When I lived in the South, they'd scoot out from under foot whenever I walked the sidewalks of New Orleans at night, and in South Carolina restaurants it seemed that I had the choice of cockroaches scooting across my table during a meal or breathing a frightening level of insecticides.  I always preferred the former, but not by a large margin. 

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