July 1, 2019: Two Searches, One Success

A late start put us in Hidden Valley on the Valles Caldera National Preserve about the time the rain and lightning moved in. We crossed the grasslands before the storm, spotting the early summer blooms of Orange-flowered Mountain Dandelion and the outstanding Rydberg's Penstemon. But the search was to try and document the presence of Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) on the Preserve. I spotted a population on South Mountain two years ago, but didn't realize that it was undocumented within the Preserve boundaries (plus I didn't have a collecting permit). Now that I'm a volunteer for the sensitive plant survey for the Preserve, I have a permit and license to travel around the property to search for documented and undocumented sensitive plants.

A couple days ago we spotted three large populations of Bunchberry along the East Fork of the Jemez below the Preserve boundary, so I thought we should take a look in the similar habitats along the East Fork within the Preserve. The rain was steady, but not a soaking downpour, and in the trees in the canyon bottom we felt safe from the lightning bouncing above. The canyon here--dubbed Hidden Canyon because you can't see it from any road--is narrow, cliffy, intense green, and totally isolated. We got rather wet as we wandered down the east bank, spotting Colorado Columbines and American Bistorts. After an hour, we decided we were wet enough, with still a half mile to survey. Enough for the first day of July!

The day was young, so I decided I'd check out the recent Leadplant (Amorpha canescens) sightings along the Frey Trail in Bandelier. "You can't miss them," I was told by the rangers, so I was almost guaranteed one successful search for the day. Leadplant is a plains species that creeps into the Jemez Mountains in Bandelier. I've regularly visited the one plant I knew for four years, finding it in bloom for the first time too late to include it in Volume One of Plants of the Jemez Mountains. Last year I checked five times, and that one plant never blossomed. A week ago, the Bandelier Fire Effect crew reported it along Highway 4, then the Visitor Center staff reported many plants along the Frey Trail. Indeed, there were a dozen plants in bloom along the first 500 feet of trail, enough to convince me that that one plant I'd know before wasn't a fluke.

(I hope to figure out how to include photos in the blog soon!)

Plant List from Hidden Valley

Genus Species JMP common name
Achillea millefolium yarrow
Agoseris aurantiaca orange-flowered mountain dandelion
Aquilegia coerulea Colorado blue columbine
Bistorta bistortoides American bistort
Boechera stricta Drummond's rockcress
Campanula parryi Parry's bellflower
Cerastium arvense meadow chickweed
Dasiphora fruticosa shrub potentilla
Draba aurea golden draba
Eremogone fendleri Fendler's sandwort
Erigeron flagellaris trailing fleabane
Erigeron formosissimus most beautiful fleabane
Erysimum capitatum western wallflower
Fragaria vesca wild strawberry
Geum triflorum old man's whiskers
Heterotheca villosa hairy golden aster
Heuchera parvifolia alumroot
Iris missouriensis wild iris
Jamesia americana cliffbush
Lathyrus lanszwertii Nevada peavine
Mertensia lanceolata chimingbells
Penstemon rydbergii Rydberg's penstemon
Polemonium foliosissimum leafy Jacob's ladder
Potentilla hippiana woolly cinquefoil
Primula pauciflora darkthroat shootingstar
Pseudocymopterus montanus mountain parsley
Rubus idaeus wild raspberry
Ranunculus cardiophyllus heartleaf buttercup
Sisyrinchium montanum mountain blue-eyed grass
Thermopsis montana big golden pea
Trifolium repens white clover
Synthyris plantaginea kittentails
Vicia americana American vetch
Viola canadensis Canada violet
Viola nephrophylla northern bog violet
Trifolium longipes longstalk clover

Publicado el 2 de julio de 2019 01:58 por craigmartin craigmartin


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Julio 1, 2019 a las 02:04 TARDE MDT


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