Journal archives for December 2019

December 17, 2019

Cold morning on the Tonto

Another visit to the Mountain fire area to check on conditions and revisit a senna seedling/sprout to see it a little further along. Turns out it was Senna covesii rather than the S. bauhinioides that I had suspected.
Regrowth of the shrubs is continuing. Very few of the shrubs were killed by the fire; most are recovering. I think more were knocked out by the tremendous flows through the wash from the November rains. Some were uprooted and others had the bark stripped. It's a fairly steep wash so the flows must have been rapid.
Seedling population is quite high. Mostly Sphaeralcea and Glandularia. Erodium cicutarium is particularly abundant; only one plant in flower, though. The abundant Aristolochia sprouts I saw on a previous visit have gone dormant; didn't see even one.
A couple of flowering surprises include a patch of Nuttallanthus texanus and some bonsai Mirabilis coccinea attempting to flower. I thought the latter were Hybanthus verticillata until I got a closer look.
Very little fauna activity. A few birds - heard a gnatcatcher, and saw some goldfinches in the larger wash near the road. One persistent grasshopper. It was the first really cold morning of the year. I carried an extra shirt to change into when it got warmer. Never did. I used all four layers and had trouble getting the backpack on. I'm thankful there's no video of that wrestling match.

Posted on December 17, 2019 03:36 PM by stevejones stevejones | 39 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment