Author Topic: Wildflowers - you have to know where to look  (Read 1792 times)

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Offline woodsorrel

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Wildflowers - you have to know where to look
« on: March 26, 2015, 02:17:36 PM »
Hi Everyone!

Can millions of years of geology create wildflowers?  In California it can, and it does!

When people think about California geology, they think of earthquakes.  But did you know that this same geology creates stunning wildflower displays?

I read someone asking recently if we see signs of spring.  In California we definitely do, and I've got the photos to prove it!














The trick is to find serpentine rock.  Serpentine is created when heat and water alter igneous rock (like basalt) on the ocean floor.  There are patches of it in the mountains where I live.  While most soils have calcium but little magnesium, serpentine soils are high in magnesium but have little calcium. So generalist plants that try to grow on serpentine soils are poisoned by the magnesium.  This creates a niche where native plants can hold their ground against invasives.  And many of the native plants are beautiful wildflowers.

Here is a link to more pictures and some notes about a bald eagle's nest (my first) and rare butterfly we saw on the hike.


http://www.natureoutside.com/wildflowers-of-the-serpentine-realm/


- Woodsorrel

The best backpacks are named for national parks or mountain ranges. Steer clear of those named for landfills.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Wildflowers - you have to know where to look
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2015, 02:34:57 PM »
Beautiful shots, Woodsorrel! :thumbsup:       No wildflowers here in Nebraska yet, but they'll be here......if it ever rains and warms up. ???
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Offline pete28

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Re: Wildflowers - you have to know where to look
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2015, 04:22:40 PM »
Those pictures are wonderful! We have so many blooming in Florida right now it is incredible. The best part is there so many that you can eat or use for medicine or both!! Well they are pretty to look at also :D
The more you look with your eyes the less you will truly see.

Offline woodsorrel

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Re: Wildflowers - you have to know where to look
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2015, 04:49:00 PM »
Those pictures are wonderful! We have so many blooming in Florida right now it is incredible. The best part is there so many that you can eat or use for medicine or both!! Well they are pretty to look at also :D

Haha, that is funny!  I am often guilty of seeing wildflowers as just beautiful decorations.  But the native peoples of California made seed meals and flours by pounding the seeds of many wildflowers and grasses. 

One of the great tragedies for foragers in California is that the native grasses and wildflowers that fed people are now very rare.  They were crowded out by introduced invasive species that are not edible by people.

- Woodsorrel
 
The best backpacks are named for national parks or mountain ranges. Steer clear of those named for landfills.
Bushcraft tips and tricks:  www.NatureOutside.c om

Offline pete28

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Re: Wildflowers - you have to know where to look
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2015, 05:11:09 PM »
I could not agree more. I have many folks that I talk to from California say the same exact things. Foraging is getting increasingly difficult. That coupled with all the water issues can make things even worse. Invasive species can be a nightmare. Some of them are certainly here in Florida.
The more you look with your eyes the less you will truly see.

Offline Orbean

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Re: Wildflowers - you have to know where to look
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2015, 05:53:00 PM »
No wildflowers here yet. Thanks for the pics
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Wildflowers - you have to know where to look
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2015, 06:17:58 PM »
While we have wild flowers they haven't showed up yet and they are not as abundant in this environment as yours.  We are also hard hit with invasive noxious weeds like Hoary Cress, Canada Thistle, and a host of others. 
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Wildflowers - you have to know where to look
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2015, 06:39:05 PM »
Lovely photos, Woodsorrel, thanks for sharing :).

Aye, it's sad to see Native species slowly disappear as invasives keep coming in and spreading like wildfire. :(
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." ~ Abraham Lincoln
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Offline upthecreek

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Re: Wildflowers - you have to know where to look
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2015, 06:50:13 PM »
It's just is starting to get pretty here in the VA foothills. Great pics.

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