Thankfully Rachel is super supportive, adventurous and level headed. When I wanted to call it quits, she kept me from throwing in the towel. I'm so glad I listened to her and not myself. This field trip was filled with some of the most extreme weather I have had to endure in the field and she handled it all so well. Thankfully we found, Canbya candida, Pigmy poppy which brightened our spirits and made the trip one of the most memorable ever.
|One of Rachel's favorite little plants. Loeseliastrum matthewsii|
Saturday, April 25th
We drove up after work on Friday and were immediately stuck in traffic on the 210 freeway. The amber alert indicated that it would take 51 minutes to get to Devore. I can handle getting stuck in traffic every once in a while so we stuck through it.
Then passing through Kramer Junction we hit the eye of a huge storm system. It was raining so hard the windshield wipers were on full blast mode. Eventually we made it to Ridgecrest and got a room for the night.
In the morning we headed to Cow Haven Canyon. Rachel has been there before and I wanted to see how much had changed since the last time I was there. When we got there the wind was cold and unbearable and I was shocked to see how fast the color had faded from the hillsides. I was a little saddened to see that the spring field season in the lower elevations are petering out. I wanted to find Pholisma arenarium in the wash. Although I didn't find it, Rachel found Canbya candida! It was so cute and tiny. I have been wanting to see this plant for a really long time. I could not believe that we were finally seeing it!
|Pigmy poppy! Canbya candida|
|Eriophyllum pringlii trying to fit in with Canbya|
|Rachel for scale|
|oooooohhhhh! Neat! Not very lively at all. We think it was on it's way out :(|
|Snow on the ground|
|Puddles in the road|
|Beavertail cactus in the snow|
Sunday, April 27th
A while back I received permission from the California Fish and Wildlife to access Scodie Canyon. Scodie Canyon is a part of the Canebrake Ecological Reserve and it is behind a locked gate. Since the wind was not howling and the weather warmed up I decided it was time to check out Scodie Canyon. I'm so glad I finally got the chance to explore it. I think it might be my new favorite canyon. Most of the canyon is not included in my study, but access to remote locations from this canyon is feasible.
|On the road to Scodie Canyon|
We reached the end of the road at the base of the hills and began botanizing. It was a neat area. Lots of perennials were in bloom, as well as annuals.
|Salvia dorii looking good|
|Delphinium in the sagebrush|
|Hiding in the hills with Fremontodendron|
We dropped down into a wash, near Scodie Spring and found many things in vegetative form. Which means that I will need to return to find them in their flowering stage. This is a rugged and wild spring. We found a cow skull under a huge Populus fremontii.
|Refuge under a cottonwood|
|Populus fremontii old and weathered|
|Down in the spring. A Salix forest!|
|Farewell to spring|