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Author Topic: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California  (Read 92381 times)

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2017, 03:42:24 PM »
Power was restored to our home yesterday, Tuesday. 6 days without electricity, but we were not the only ones. The inspector had a long list of homes to visit so that their power could be restored too. We now have heat, lighting, etc.!  :)

It is looking like there will be about a week over dry weather. I hope to get out soon, before the stormy weather returns.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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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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Maggi Young

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2017, 07:03:47 PM »
A great relief to be reconnected to the power supply- hope all is well for the rest of the winter.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Cfred72

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2017, 07:28:50 PM »
It will go now, I hope for you.
Frédéric Catoul, Amay en Hesbaye, partie francophone de la Belgique.

Gabriela

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2017, 12:53:01 AM »
What a relief to have the power on again Robert!
I know how bad it is without, especially in the cold season.
Gabriela
Ontario, zone 5
http://botanicallyinclined.org/

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2017, 08:34:31 PM »
It is very good to have the power back on. I do not mind camping out - but not in my own home, especially in the winter.



Yesterday I was able to return to the North Fork of Cache Creek (Northern Inner Coast Range) with my Concow Maidu friend Dalton. We had all day to hike and explore the area. We traveled south over the ridge to the South Fork of Cache Creek and spent the day exploring the ridge top above the South Fork of Cache Creek.

The views of Snow Mountain to the North were awesome. I feel drawn to return to the Snow Mountain area soon. It seems a very special place. There are certainly many interesting plant species to see in this region. I am a little bit under the weather right now so it will be a few days until I will be reporting on this outing. It was a very good outing. Spring is awakening.

Until then......   :)
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: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2017, 09:49:42 AM »
SOUTH FORK OF CACHE CREEK

Part I

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Sacramento Weather

Weather: Clear
Temperature, High:56 F, 13 C
                      Low:41 F, 5 C



The morning mist was still lingering when Dalton, my Concow Maidu companion, and I arrived at the trailhead on the North Fork of Cache Creek. The temperature was 41 F (5 C) much warmer than I had expected. A month ago when I had made a preliminary reconnaissance of this area it had been much colder in the morning, well below freezing. We set off (elevation 1004 feet, 306 meters) across the flats toward the north facing ridge that I had started to climb on the previous visit.



As we hiked southward, the morning mist quickly burned off as we climbed the ridge through the burned oak woodland I had encountered last time. Looking back northward toward the North Fork of Cache Creek the snow capped peak of Snow Mountain started to appear.



As we hiked, it became apparent that spring flowering season was beginning unfold. Everywhere there were signs of quicken growth and budded plants that would be blooming shortly. Primula (Dodecantheon) hendersonii was one of the species well advanced and nearing its blooming stage. In this photograph it is seen with small seedlings of Nemophila heterophylla.



As we climbed higher out of the cold air drainage, blooming plants started to appear such as Ranunculus occidentalis ssp. occidentalis. (Sorry, the best photograph I had to tell the story  :-[  )



In a few areas there were swathes of Erysimum capitatum var. capitatum in bloom. When I passed this location last month only a few plants were showing color. Now there were many plants in full bloom.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 10:50:16 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: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2017, 10:20:00 AM »


The recent fire had encouraged the regeneration of Ehrendorferia (Dicentra) chrysantha. In the southern foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains it can be seen frequently soon after a burn cycle. It is a fairly common species in the Coastal Mountains, however this was only my second observation of this species in this region.



Further along, blooming colonies of Primula (Dodecatheon) hendersonii started to appear. My old camera was acting-up in the cool morning air. What a shame, they were so beautiful!



The first flowers were also showing on this nice clump of Cynoglossum grande.



At scattered sites, the striking red new growth of Indian Warrior, Pedicularis densiflora, was emerging from the ground. Later the foliage will transition to a brownish-green or all green color.



A few plants were in full bloom and a delight to see. This hemiparasitic species prefers growing in semi-shaded oak woodlands which we were still climbing through.
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: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2017, 11:11:58 AM »


After a short hike we arrived at the ridge top. To the south, down in the canyon below the South Fork of Cache Creek raged through the canyon.



Cache Creek takes a torturous route through the Coastal Mountains, twisting and turning as it works its way eastward toward the Sacramento Valley and the Sacramento River. The rapids and falls around this rocky promontory were quite dramatic as the mist rose and the water roared far below.



The view of Snow Mountain off to the north was spectacular and drew our attention throughout the day. The Manzanita seen in this photograph is Common Manzanita, Arctostaphylos manzanita ssp. manzanita.



Most of the plants were finished blooming, with only a few plants still in full bloom such as this one. This and A. manzanita ssp. elegans were the only Manzanita taxa seen this day.

Subspecies elegans is very similar to subspecies manzanita, however the fruit (and ovary) of subspecies elegans is sticky and glandular. Subspecies elegans is also generally a noticeable upright grower. Subspecies manzanita can be both a rounded or an upright grower. Sometimes it is possible to identify subspecies elegans this time of year by finding old fruit around the base of the plant. Using a hand lens to examine the ovary of blooming plants, or the immature fruit is the best method to identify subspecies elegans at this time of year.



Once we had reached the ridge crest we had to determine which direction to explore. As is often the case in California, the habitat shifted dramatically at the top of the ridge. This view is to the southeast and the route looked quite interesting, however the two forks of Cache Creek join in this area and we would be boxed in very quickly if we traveled in this direction. We could ford the creek, but certainly not with the raging waters.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 11:43:05 AM 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: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2017, 11:41:24 AM »


Our other route was off to the southwest as seen in this photograph. We traveled off in this direction along the ridge crest. Initially the steep south facing terrain was clothed in grassland with scattered Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii, however it quickly shifted over to burned over chaparral.



In places there were dense colonies of Ehrendorferia chrysantha that had sprouted vigorously after the fire.



Garrya congdonii was a frequent member of the chaparral community seen this day. The plants had respouted from their bases strongly after the fire, in some cases with over 1 meter of new growth in just one season.



We followed an old trail or perhaps the fire line along the ridge. In places Coyote Mint, Monardella villosa, grew giving off its minty fragrance as we brushed its foliage.



At one point the "trail" tucked in and traversed along a steep north facing slope. Here we found many interesting species. Ribes malvaceum var. malvaceum grew abundantly in this area. It had also resprouted strongly after the fire. We even found a few blooming plants, clothed with their attractive pink flowers.

To be continued.........
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 11:45:38 AM 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: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2017, 07:27:55 PM »
SOUTH FORK OF CACHE CREEK

Part II



There were a number of plants I could not identify to species, such as the dried remains of this Fritillaria.



The Iris growing on this north facing slope could not be identified to species either. I hope to be able to return to this area several times to follow the progression of the blooming cycle.



Once we rounded the north facing slope, the route along the ridge line opened up before us. In the distance I could see that there was an end to the burn. Throughout the burned area there were many young seedlings of obligate seeders such as Ceanothus jepsonii, Ceanothus oliganthus, Actostaphylos, and others. I wished to reach an unburned site where I could observe closely mature specimens, particularly that of Ceanothus jepsonii.



From this open ridge the vistas of Snow Mountain were stunning.



This view is off to the southeast with Blue Ridge in the distance (right side of the photograph).

« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 08:12:09 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: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2017, 07:57:01 PM »


Despite the recent fire there was still an excellent variety of plants to see. Castilleja foliolosa is one of my favorite Paintbrush species from the Sierra Nevada Foothill. This species can also be found growing in the coastal mountains and was blooming abundantly along this ridge.



There were also isolate patches of Lomatium dasycarpum. Many Lomatium species bloom very early in the season. I was somewhat surprised that they were not further along in their bloom cycle.



We hiked a considerable distance along the ridge and we still had not reached the unburned area. Our days are still short so unfortunately we had to turn back before reaching the unburned area.



At this end of the ridge the snow topped peak of Mount Saint Helena could be seen through the glare off to the southwest.



At this point we turned back up the south fork canyon.
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: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2017, 08:38:10 PM »


It was very interesting how the vegetation was regenerating after the fire. There were masses of seedlings from the obligate seeder as well as the regrowth from species that can sprout from dormant vegetive buds from below ground level. A few species will do both, resprout after a fire as well as produce seed that will germinate after a fire.



A strong new seedling of Eriodictylon californicum.



Garrya congdonii on left and Adenostoma fasciculatum on right resprouting after the fire. Along the ridge there were thousands if not millions of new seedlings of Chamise, Adenostoma fasciculatum. This species is often the dominant species within a chaparral plant community. After what I observed this day, this is not surprising.



Heteromeles arbutifoia, Toyon, was another species that was regenerating itself from dormant vegetive buds.



When we arrived back to where the trail traversed the north facing slope, I found some beautiful colonies of Cardamine californica in full bloom. How did I miss them on the hike in?  ???
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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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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Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2017, 08:58:30 PM »


Eventually we arrived back to where the trail descended northward to the North Fork of Cache Creek and the trailhead. Pictured is the departing view back southwestward down the canyon of the South Fork of Cache Creek.

It is still very early in the season, however there was still much of interest to see and even a few plants in bloom. For me it was a productive and very enjoyable outing.

My next outing will be to Snow Mountain. This time of year the temperatures are much lower in the Snow Mountain region. I am not expecting to see much in bloom, however I feel a need to see this region in all its seasons. I am sure that this too will be an interesting, productive, and enjoyable outing.

Until next time.........
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: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2017, 10:35:58 PM »
Robert,
it is interesting to see the regrowth of such burnt areas although I like the woods better. I have seen the result of big fires in both Madagascar and Kenya and they have much in common with your area. Although a lot of biodiverity is lost many species get a new chance also.

Beautiful landscape also!
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Robert

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Re: 2017 - Robert's botanical adventures in Northern California
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2017, 04:41:52 PM »


Trond,

I had a very interesting outing near Snow Mountain yesterday. I explored an area of burned over chaparral. The diversity of species was somewhat limited, however I found a number of extremely interesting species in the area including Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. cushingiana, A. manzanita ssp. elegans, and A. viscida ssp. pulchella. As far as I know this is the first documented finding of A. glandulosa ssp. cushingiana in this area, however I have to admit that I was not surprised to find it here either. I will have a full report soon.

The whole study of fire and its impact on an ecosystem is extremely fascinating. In most parts of California fire has a regenerating positive effect on many different plant communities. Right now I consider the extreme crown fires that frequent California as unnatural, however I think that it is important to remain open minded to other possibilities. I do admit that I find the destruction after a crown fire depressing, but then the chocked over-grown forests due to fire suppression lack diversity and are not healthy. Under the right circumstances fire is beneficial and the aftermath can be beautiful, at least it can be here in California.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 04:44:22 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

 


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