Journal archives for May 2017

May 06, 2017

iNaturalist app training

This morning I joined a group (@alenartz and Cicely, @cflower, @jszalwinski, @kgometz and @mtluczek) involved in mapping non-native Pennisetum grasses in the Phoenix parks and preserve system. It was a refresher course in using the iNaturalist app. The good news is we only found a little buffel grass, and no fountain grass. We did see a good bit of stinknet, though. But we found plenty of interesting things to observe, even though the spring season is quickly coming to an end. Most everything green is quickly turning to brown.

One point I stressed is the utility of using iNaturalist to find out the names of creatures you don't know. We had a live demonstration of that when I posted an observation of a plant we found while crossing the playing field of a nearby school. Within half an hour or so we had an ID (thanks, @nathantaylor7583!).

Posted on May 06, 2017 07:54 PM by stevejones stevejones | 13 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment

May 12, 2017

Reach 11 Recreation Area

After spending some time this week helping @cflower and @sbeute establish a project for the City of Phoenix Parks and Preserves and populating it with past observations, I noticed that the Reach 11 Recreation Area had no observations. So I went out this morning to remedy that. Most of the area is open Lower Colorado subdivision vegetation, disturbed in many places. There is a developing mesquite bosque behind the levee protecting the Central Arizona Project (CAP) canal (Reach 11 refers to its CAP designation). Thanks to those trees, it's a pretty good area for birding. I heard and saw a number of species, including many hummingbirds. There's even a small pond in the area which is where I found the mallard.

Most of the annual vegetation was long past it. But I took some photos of them anyway, including seed where they were still present. Stinknet has established itself in force near 56th Street. It smells bad enough when fresh leaves are crushed. When it's drying in the sun, it smells even worse.

It's a pleasant trail, shaded through the bosque. If you have better luck than I did, you might even see the burrowing owls inhabiting the artificial habitat built by Eagle Scouts in 2003.

Posted on May 12, 2017 06:04 AM by stevejones stevejones | 61 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 19, 2017

Lime Creek

I tried to visit to an old haunt yesterday, attempting to get to Lime Creek west of Horseshoe Reservoir on the Verde River. I hiked (and swam where necessary) Lime Creek with friends in the early '90's. But the forest service road (1530) to it had a deeply eroded section that I didn't feel safe crossing, even with 4WD and low gears. So I parked and walked along the area covered in this article, a limestone exposure of pure white lake deposits. I found several of the unusual species listed there, including the endangered Purshiasubintegra and the rare but not listed Eriogonum ripleyi. I also found a few stumpers, especially this Castilleja. Best guess is C. angustifolia var. dubia; though all leaves are linear; some of the dried leaves looked pinnatifid. It's a late-season specimen, so I took a photo of the seeds - they are fascinatingly reticulate and look like tiny loofah sponges. [Edit - Bzzz, wrong!]

Posted on May 19, 2017 02:25 PM by stevejones stevejones | 39 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment