Journal archives for April 2020

April 01, 2020

Just seedlings

These are the seedlings in the RestoreNet sites at Scottsdale Community College and at Lake Pleasant. I wanted to share them with several people and this seemed the easiest way to do it.

Posted on April 01, 2020 01:24 AM by stevejones stevejones | 6 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment

April 10, 2020

Another Mountain fire revisit

I took another walk up the wash I visited just before, and a few times after, the Mountain fire on the Tonto National Forest last June. What a difference! The wildflower display was exceptional. Glandularia gooddingii was especially abundant and scented the air the whole time I was there. Mexican poppies and Texas toadflax also had good shows. Non-native filaree was abundant (as during my last visit) though done flowering and now distributing its corkscrew seed everywhere.

The fire released many nutrients into the soil and the annual plants there are making good use of the bounty. But no flowering was seen on the shrubs like Quercus turbinella, Rhus aromatica, Rhamnus ilicifolia and others. I suspect that flowering occurs on second-season growth on these shrubs, and they haven't had a second season; all living tissue is regrowth. As noted before, though, almost all the individual shrubs survived at the crown and are returning.

The animal life is returning as well. In January I saw exactly one other animal life form besides me, a single honeybee. Today I heard a Northern Mockingbird, heard and saw a pair of Mourning Dove, and heard some Black-throated Sparrows calling. Common Buckeyes lived up to their name. Other pollinators were there as well, and one Pallid Grasshopper stopped long enough for a couple of photos.

Many Homo sapiens were in the area, though not up this wash, as the wash is fenced at the road. If not for the fence, they would have been up there as well. Numerous OHVs were going up and down the unfenced washes on the north side of Horseshoe Dam Road. Near-constant traffic. Tonto National Forest is a popular destination for those seeking to relieve their CoViD-19-induced boredom.

I found and removed a couple of dozen Oncosiphon piluliferum plants; all individuals, likely arising from seed blown into the area by wind. Slowed the invasion I hope, but did not, and cannot, stop it.

About half the locations are approximate; the lithium batteries in my GPS stopped lithing.

Posted on April 10, 2020 01:48 AM by stevejones stevejones | 51 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment

April 19, 2020


Back again to the wash I visited on the 9th, but this time with the intention of making some collections. I hadn't pressed a plant in over a year. But as noted at the link above, there were beautiful specimens, given the nutrients released by last year's fire. I found three new taxa this time as well, Spermolepis lateriflora, Erythranthe rubella and Phacelia cryptantha. I didn't collect the Erythranthe - only saw half a dozen or so plants.

Posted on April 19, 2020 01:37 AM by stevejones stevejones | 17 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment

April 28, 2020

Delayed response

I've noticed recently that the local desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata) population has increased substantially this year. I suspect that the heavy October 2018 rains stimulated many seeds to germinate, as happened with so many other species at the time. Desert marigold is a short-lived perennial that only begins flowering in its second season so I only now noticed the population jump.

Desert marigold flowers are a good place to look for native pollinators and for the spiders that hunt them. Look amongst and below the petals for the latter. I can't remember having seen a feral honeybee working their blossoms, though they are a seemingly constant presence on brittlebush and other flowers. Perhaps they are too heavy and tip them. Or maybe I'm just forgetful.

Posted on April 28, 2020 10:51 PM by stevejones stevejones | 3 comments | Leave a comment