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Author Topic: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021  (Read 8666 times)

Gabriela

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2021, 12:06:18 AM »
Gabriela,

In the “Northern Hemisphere” thread you made reference to two Caucasian Aristolochia species that you cultivate. Do they have any noteworthy characteristics? I am only familiar with our California native species.

Both A. steupii and A. iberica (the ones I grew from seeds) are woodland floor inhabitants Robert,  25-30 cm or so. In this regard they are different from the climbing types.
The flowers are much smaller but equally intriguing and there must be insects around that like them because they set seeds. They emerge and flower very early (by our standards).
Gabriela
Ontario, zone 5
http://botanicallyinclined.org/

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2021, 08:20:07 PM »


Erythronium oregonum as photographed back in March.

Like the Sugarplum Fairy in the animated movie Strange Magic, I have finally been set free from my captivity – so, I have been very busy over the last few months with many projects.



Fast-forward to 28 May – Calochortus superbus blooming in our garden.



Papaver rhoeas blooming with our California native – Philadelphus lewsii.



I still visit the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This pond is drying quickly (as photographed 27 May 2021). The current drought is severe. The regional hydrology never fully recovered from the previous period of severe drought and the impacts are very apparent. I will post more information concerning the local impacts of drought and climate change on both managed (our garden) and unmanaged (wild) ecosystems in future postings.



One of our many California native annuals, Fivespot, Nemophila maculata blooming in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 08:21:51 PM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
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fermi de Sousa

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2021, 02:13:48 AM »
Glad that you've been set free, Robert.
In Victoria we are in a 7 day lockdown after an outbreak of the virus.
Very disruptive to business of course but I'm glad that the Govt is taking the health risk seriously.
I saw a cute post on Instagram where someone suggested that instead of saying "the Economy" substitute "Rich people's yacht money" makes a lot of sense! ;D
cheers
fermi
Mr Fermi de Sousa, Redesdale,
Victoria, Australia

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2021, 06:31:00 PM »


Hi Fermi

I have been spending the last few months expanding our bio-intensive mini farm. A good portion of our backyard in Sacramento was a “wilderness” of weeds. Now it has been cleaned up and planted. Our farm, up the hill in El Dorado County, has been fallow for 10 years. It is now coming back into production. The orchard is being renewed and the fallowed land is being planted with carbon, calorie and vegetable crops.

Considering that the Union of Concerned Scientists estimate that there is 40 years of topsoil remaining on the planet based on the current rates of soil erosion, establishing a secure and sustainable food system seems a priority. The folks at Ecology Action estimate there is, more or less, only 22.5 years of topsoil remaining on the planet. The bottom line is that, currently, most soils are critically depleted and highly dependent on anthropogenic fixed nitrogen, and dwindling supplies of phosphorus to maintain high levels of agricultural production.



For us, potatoes (pictured) are an important calorie crop. We also grow sweet potatoes and sunchokes as calorie crops. Grains such as barley, rye, pearl millet, and rice are examples of carbon crops.



We leave room for ornamental plants. Brodiaea elegans ssp. elegans is in full bloom in our Sacramento, California garden.



In this scene Gilia capitata is blooming with Verbena bonariensis. The Gilia capitata plants are hybrids between ssp. mediomontana and pedemontana. They volunteer in our garden with many other California native annuals.



Climate change is another reason behind our move back toward sustainable bio-intensive mini farming. One can easily see from the chart above that our local precipitation totals have declined 24% (!!!!!!!) in the time period 1870 to 2010. In addition, in our region, temperatures have increased 1.26 F (0.7 C) since 1987-88. During the 2014-15 season temperatures averaged 3.54 F (1.97 C) above average, well above the temperature threshold where uncontrollable, irreversible, and rapid climate change is likely to occur. Currently, these climatic changes are impacting our garden/mini farm as well as our regional natural habitats/ ecosystems.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2021, 06:42:17 PM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

ian mcdonald

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #34 on: May 29, 2021, 09:50:45 PM »
Thanks for the update Robert. Here the weather has been mostly cold and wet. I put this down to our prevailing wind coming from the West and there is a lot of water to our West. Not science, just my own theory. There was talk some years ago that the South of England would have a climate like the Sahara. Perhaps this did not take into account the water bearing clouds? Spring has been late this year with some trees slow to come into leaf and flowering wild plants later than usual. Your Brodiaea looks similar to Gentian? I wish we could reverse the jet stream and send you some rain.

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2021, 06:13:27 PM »
Hello Ian,

Thank you for the weather/climatic report from your region. As of today, 30 May, our precipitation total for the season is 47.35% of average. This year is turning out to be the driest season since the 1976-77 precipitation year (one of the driest years in the last 150 years). This May temperatures are running 3.03 F (1.68 C) above average. This summer the forecast is for a continuation of above average temperatures.



Brodiaea elegans ssp. elegans is a member of the Themidaceae family and is a common California native species in our area. Their flowers are indeed reminiscent of Gentiana flowers. Pictured is Brodiaea minor. This species is almost always found growing on serpentine rock formations. As pictured, it is growing well in our Sacramento garden.



This is the last of the Pacific Coast lilies blooming in our Sacramento, California garden. We enjoy our California native lilies and grow many species and hybrids in our garden.



These are a few more photographs from my recent outings.

Calochortus minimus blooming at an elevation of 6,600 feet (2,012 meters). Both open flowers are from the same plant. The change in the flower color is not unusual for this species.



This Trillium angustipetalum was found growing in a shaded portion of a drying meadow. The water table in this area was once very near the surface, keeping the meadow moist throughout the summer-autumn season. As chronic drought conditions persist, the water table is dropping and the meadow ecosystem is changing. The mix of plant species is shifting as the meadow becomes increasingly dry. The seasonal creek that flows through this meadow does not have a deeply incised channel, so other variables are at play in the drying of this meadow.



Castilleja pruinosa is found growing on the dry sunny slopes above the meadow.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2021, 06:37:36 PM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2021, 06:11:17 PM »


The following photographs were taken on the lower portions of Peavine Ridge on 5 May 2021. In early May the soil was already quite dry and the growth of many annual species was restrained and underdeveloped.



The growth of many perennial species was also restrained. I have been visiting this patch of Silene laciniata ssp. californica for years. The plants were small with very few flowers.



Diplacus kelloggii is a very showy annual species. Generally this species creates striking drifts of colorful flowers when in bloom each spring. This season, there were very few plants and the existing plants were stunted, with very few flowers.



Lessingia leptoclada is a very tough, heat and drought tolerant annual species. How they will be impacted by the extremely dry conditions this season will become apparent later in the season.



The perennial species, Lathyrus sulphureus is generally found growing in semi-shaded locations. The species is summer dormant and well adapted to dry summer conditions.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Hoy

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #37 on: June 01, 2021, 08:12:01 AM »
Glad to hear that you are able to to something at the farm! How long is the drive from your home to the farm?

The spring here is also later than usual, by several weeks in fact. A cold winter was followed by a cool spring but we didn't lack precipitation! The last days the weather has improved considerably though with temperatures above 20C (68F).

Yesterday I was visiting some islands and skerries west of here. We had a very nice day!

691145-0

The grass is very short cut. It is flocks of wild geese grazing here in spring.
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2021, 07:09:47 PM »
Hello Trond,

It takes 45 minutes to drive from our Sacramento home to our El Dorado County farm. Most of the travel time is through an urban setting, so if there is traffic it can take much longer to get to the farm. Needless to say, we travel during off-peak (traffic) times.

Thank you for the weather/climatic report. I always find the information fascinating. In our region, the average temperature during the month of May was 3.47 F (1.928 C) above the 30-year average. Since 1 January every month has had above average temperatures except March, which was very La Niña-like in its weather pattern. Despite a strong La Niña, January and February did not exactly behave like a typical La Niña.



This photograph was taken on the Lyons Creek trail on 5 May.



This is how the trail appeared on 27 May. The snow did not last long with the above average temperatures. A few days ago it was 101 F (38.33 C) at our Sacramento home. This is temperature is much above average for this time of year, but not completely unusual.



Lyons Creek Trail, 5 May – Horkelia fusca var. pariflora generally greens quickly after the snow melts for the season.



Lyons Creek Trail, 5 May - Delphinium nuttallianum emerging from the ground.



Lyons Creek Trail, 27 May – Viola bakeri is one of the first high elevation Viola species to bloom after the snow melts each spring.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 07:12:03 PM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

cohan

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #39 on: June 07, 2021, 07:14:21 PM »
I missed these last posts-- good that you got some winter moisture at least... hope this season hasn't been too extreme...

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #40 on: June 07, 2021, 08:07:35 PM »
The first 6 days of June have been running ~ 10 F (5.56 C) above average, however the weather is forecasted to change and much below average temperatures are expected. There is even the possibility of rain at the end of the forecast period (7 days).

Today I have photographs from our Sacramento, California garden.



Castilleja affinis ssp. affinis has been a very persistent perennial species in our garden. We have grown a number of different species. To date, this has been the best preforming and persistent Castilleja species in our garden. The plants flower for many months during the spring and summer.



Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is generally frosted down to the ground each season and emerges again in the spring. This year a few branches survived, what little cold weather we had this winter, and are blooming now. The new growth that emerges in the spring, blooms later in the summer into the autumn months



Diplacus aurantiacus is a California native species. This perennial species seeds itself around in our garden and blooms for many months each spring-early summer.



Plant breeding is fun!

This is a F1 Erythranthe lewisii x cardinalis hybrid.



This is the same F1 hybrid except reverse, E. cardinalis x lewisii.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2021, 08:10:43 PM »


We are breeding new tomato varieties that are well adapted to our garden microclimate and growing techniques.



The following are some of the early results from our Viola breeding project. During another posting I will show the yellows. Breeding for heat tolerance is one important goal.






Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #42 on: June 07, 2021, 08:15:13 PM »


Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Angel Lace’ is looking good right now.



The annual Consolida ajacis seeds around in our garden. We save seed from the pink, pale lavender, and white plants. The blues take care of themselves.



Cosmos bipinnatus. The summer annuals are just starting to bloom.

For the most part, the California native annuals have finished blooming however there are a few late bloomers. Lessingia leptoclada is an example and it will be starting soon.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #43 on: June 07, 2021, 08:26:08 PM »
I missed these last posts-- good that you got some winter moisture at least... hope this season hasn't been too extreme...

Cohan

We are experiencing all sorts of climatic/weather extremes!

Currently there is severe drought. In addition, temperatures fluctuations have been extreme at times - record heat then record cold - but much more record heat than cold (close to 10:1).
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

cohan

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Re: Robert's Crystal Range Project - Year 3, 2021
« Reply #44 on: June 07, 2021, 10:27:31 PM »
Lots of colour, still at least! hope you get that possible rain later in the week.
Up and down here, as usual- seems we rarely hit average but rather achieve it by adding the aboves and belows. Nothing really traumatic, though. Spring is usually very dry here between snowmelt and the onset of early summer rain, which tends to mean more dry time as spring melt generally comes earlier. This year, though, saw rather early melt, but then more moisture than usual (snows in April, surprisingly none in May, at least none that stuck around, but more rain in early May than usual)- with only a week or two dryish and a short 'hot' spell- we had 3-4 days last week 26-30c /78-86F today's high is 9C/48F not there yet at 3:00. Rainfall warning to the west of us, we are having off and on rain since yesterday evening, but wont be anywhere near the 80-100mm forecast closer to the foothills, unless something dramatic happens tonight...lol

 


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