Volume 25 No. 5 September/October 2005
THE CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY
The Bristlecone Chapter Meeting will be held at the "Green Church" at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday September 15th. The Sequoia National Forest is a floristic melting pot between the Central Valley and the Mojave Desert and also between the High Sierra and the Southern California Mountains. This confluence of diverse floras creates a high density of rare endemic plants and many interesting plant communities. Come enjoy a spectacular slideshow tour of these bioregions and their unique plants with Fletcher Linton, the Forest Botanist on the Sequoia National Forest.
The Bristlecone Chapter Board will meet September 7th at the home of Ann Fulton at 7:00 PM. Everyone is welcome. Please call 750-924-8742 for directions.
Although it's been a while since anyone at our house "went back to school," it still feels like the time of year to get organized. At our September board meeting we will be planning for the year ahead and will address some issues that we hope will make our Bristlecone chapter run more efficiently and be more effective. As you can see on the back cover of this newsletter, our board positions are filled! Diana Pietrasanta is taking over membership from Kathy Duvall, who managed the membership and mailed the newsletter for many years. Thank you, Kathy! And, welcome Diana! Kathy will remain on the Board as Legislation. There is always a need for more active volunteers and happily we have had recent queries from new members, "how can I help?" If you are looking for ways to become more active, please visit our website, study our "Introductory Newsletter," or call the board member on the back cover whose position best matches your interests.
Although fall is on its way, outdoor work and play for our chapter is not over yet. In fact, September is a big month for us with our Native Plant Sale on Saturday, September 24th. We can use your help! Besides our conservation-oriented field trip in October we have two work opportunities - planting at our Mary DeDecker Native Plant Garden and Highway Cleanup on our section of Highway #395.
Please notice that the date of our September general meeting has been changed to accommodate the schedule of our speaker to Thursday, September 15th! Hope to see you there!
P.S. There are still lots of blooms in the high country!
2005 Fall Field Trip and Event Schedule
2005 Native Plant Sale Coming Up
Please mark your calendars for upcoming native plant gardening events. The Plant Sale Preview will be held on Tuesday, September 20 at 7:00 PM at White Mountain Research Station, 3000 E. Line Street in Bishop. There will be pictures and discussions relating to the plants offered at this year's sale.
The Native Plant Sale is scheduled for Saturday, September 24 at 9:00 AM (sharp), at the White Mountain Research Station in Bishop. A variety of plants will be offered including grasses, perennials and shrubs. Please check out www.bristleconecnps.org for the current list of species that will be available at the sale. Call 387-2913 for more information.
September 24, Saturday. Native PIant Sale.
This year's plant sale will be held on Saturday, September 24 at 9:OOAM. You'll find the sale located under the trees at White Mountain Research Station on East Line Street in Bishop. Plant sale hopefuls include some new species along with many old favorites. We hope to have Salazaria mexicana, Heliomeris multiflora, Senecio multilobatus, Koeleria macrantha and Eriogonum kennedyii, among many others.
You can find out for sure what will be at the plant sale and perhaps what it looks like at the Preview. The Preview is scheduled for Tuesday, September 20 at 7PM at White Mountain Research Station in Bishop. Please direct any questions, suggestions or offers of help to Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 387-2913.
October 1, Saturday. Take the Owens Valley challenge -attend a field trip on the valley floor! Field trip leader: Daniel Pritchett. Meet at the Blackrock Fish Hatchery raceway parking lot at 8:30 AM. Learn about native alkali meadow vegetation; learn what trout have to do with dying meadows; learn about relationships between vegetation and water table depth; learn about exempt wells and the Inyo-LA Long Term Water Agreement and EIR! Not for the faint-hearted! 4x4 not required but high clearance will help. Temperatures may be high. Bring water, snacks, hat, sunscreen, sense of humor, and capacity for outrage. Trip will end by noon.
October 16, Saturday. Mary DeDecker Native Plant Garden planting and cleaning. Leader: Jerry Zatorski. Fall is the best time to plant native plants, and we will be enhancing the Mary DeDecker Garden with some new plants. We will be planting and installing rabbit-proof cages around the new plantings. There will also be some general cleaning to do. We'll meet at the garden at the Eastern California Museum in Independence at 9:00 AM, bring garden gloves, trowels, hand pruners, fluids and snacks, and wear sturdy work clothes. For more information contact Jerry Zatorski at 872-3818 or email@example.com.
October 23, Sunday. Highway clean-up. Leader: Scott HetzIer. Meet at the intersection of Highway 395 and Pine Creek Rd., west of 395, at 9.00 AM. We will try to be done by 1 :00 PM. For more information, call Scott Hetzler at 873-8392.
FIELD TRIP POLICIES: For all field trips, be sure to bring plenty of water, lunch, good walking shoes or boots, and appropriate clothing for hot sun and/or inclement weather. Also useful would be a hand lens, binoculars, camera, floras, and plant lists. Trips will leave at the time announced, so please arrive at the meeting sites a few minutes early. Unless indicated, the average car should do fine. Car pooling is encouraged. Everyone is welcome, but not pets. For general question on field trips or if you would like to lead a trip, please call Jerry Zatorski at (760) (760) 872-3518.
Field Trip Reports
Bennettville and Beyond
July 30th was a brilliantly clear day spent botanizing the Harvey Hall Natural Area atop the Tioga Crest east of Yosemite. Cathy Rose, our leader and knowledgeable botanist led us past Bennettville and around four alpine lakes as we made our way to Crystal Pass just south of Mt. Conness. We concentrated on the abundance of plants in flower, but could not take out eyes off the incredible views of snow fields, abundant waterfalls and many surrounding high peaks.
Almost up to the top of the pass, we found Alpine Saxifrage (Saxifrage tolmiei) blooming against the red roof-pendant rocks. We also found 6 species from the Heath Family. White Heather (Cassiope mertensiana) and Red Heather (Phyllodoce breweri) were easily identified. Carpets of Bilberry (Vaccinium caespitosum) surrounded us during much of our hike. We saw displays of Labrador Tea (Ledum glandulosum) and some Laurel (Kalmia polifolia). Finally, we were privileged to find one of the rarest plants in the Heath Family, the Alpine Wintergreen (Gaultheria humzjka). A warm thank you to Cathy for leading us into one of the most beautiful areas this year in the Sierras.
On August 13, a handful of eager folks met at the South Lake parking lot to hike the pipe to the Grunion Plateau near Coyote Flat. Once we decided that we all were here, we headed off to hike to Brown and Green Lakes via the 'pipe'. The morning was brisk but a great day of wildflowers and views was about to unfold! We had only meandered about 100 feet and we were greeted by a stunning display of color! Senecio triangularis, Epilobium angustifolium, Dugaldia hoopesii, Castilleja appelgatei, Aconitum columbiae, Lupinus lepidus: Angelica lineariloba, and a host of others lured our enthusiasm (and our cameras) to this magical garden of color for quite some time. However, we frnally got going and continued with our hike up the pipe. For those of you who have never hiked the pipe, you missed an adventurous (sometimes tenuous balancing act), yet fun walk.
Along the pipe, were various patches of Monardella odoratissma, Sedum roseum, Arnica cordifolia, Heuchera rubescens, Ribes cereum, Penstemon newberryi and lush, enchanting ferns hiding among the granite boulders; Pellaea brewerii, and Pteridium aquilinum!
A sigh of relief from some, we were off the pipe and on the upward trail to Brown Lake. Enroute we would stop and bask among the buckwheats; Eriogonum nudum, and Eriogonum ovalifolium, and kindly gaze at the small sandwort Arenaria kingii. Also growing amid the metamorphic crust was the matted Ivesia Shockleyi and Eoesia muirii.
Approaching Brown Lake (we aren't even close to our destination!) were perplexing meadows whose lush vegetation held hidden treasures such as Gentiana newberryi (Alpine gentian), Neomophilia spatulata, Mmulus primuloides, Mimulus suksdorjii, and even Puffballs and Slippery Jacks!
Continuing upward, we made it to Green Lake where we took lunch, naps, and solitude (we hadn't seen another person since leaving the parking lot!). Potentilla gracilis, Potentilla glandulosa and Penstemon heterodoxus were poking around in the grass.
Climbing a rocky steep trail upward to the sky, our focus turned to the rocks. Many metamorphic rocks with crystals of epidote and garnets spilled before us. Some of us chose samples that we hoped to come back to, but alas and alak, in the end, our leader lead us down a different route (sorry gang, you'll have to come back on your own)! Interestingly enough, we found Rosa woodsii growing amidst the rocky, dry, western slope of this metamorphic talus pile. When we finally reached our prairie in the sky, the flower display wasn't what it had been earlier. However, the views rewarded our efforts and the clouds began to build rather rapidly adding more drama (and some apprehension) to our location. Still we continued to search for the elusive, occasional flower. Eriogonum lobbii and Eriogonum ovalifolium made appearances, as did Castilleja nana, Astragalus whitneyi and Astragalus purshii. Pyrrocoma apargioides, Chaenactis alpigena, and Erigeron pygmaeus held fast to the plateau.
It was next to impossible to admire the plants when the scenery was so dramatic and mesmerizing. Cameras were out in full force snapping in all directions as this place offers a wide view of many high peaks including Mt. Darwin. After the sun disappeared behind a HUGE cummulo-nimbus cloud, we headed down a slope where krummholzed whitebark pines dig into the rocky soils and an occasional Skyrocket (Ipomopsis aggregata) blasted us with it's scarlet red color.
We saw many more plants that are not mentioned here, and although we never did see the sun again that day, and some were disappointed not to take another look at the rocks loaded with garnets and epidote crystals, everyone was pleased to share a taste of the beauty and magic of the Grunion Plateau.
Collette Zemitis, Bishop CA
Next Newsletter Deadline: October 28th.
BRISTLECONE CHAPTER DIRECTORY - 2005
RARE PLANT COORDINATOR