Author Archives: gingkochris

Rock Spiraea

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The plant Leonard and I commonly call rock spiraea is a variety of Holodiscus discolor (oceanspray or cream bush).¬† As I mentioned in my last post (“Rockmat” on 11-06-19), Petrophytum caespitosum is often also colloquially referred to as rock spiraea. … Continue reading

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Rockmat

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Leonard and I were first introduced to Petrophytum caespitosum in October while visiting Great Basin National Monument in Nevada as “rock spiraea”. It was growing along the Mountain View Nature Trail.¬† Hmmm. . . We were familiar with a “rock … Continue reading

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Smooth Willowherb

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Smooth willowherb, smoothstem fireweed and glaucous willowherb are just three of the colloquial names used interchangeably for Epilobium glaberrimum and its two subspecies glaberrimum and fastigatum. In June Leonard and I found specimens between the North and South Elkins Barns … Continue reading

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Female Ruby-crowned Kinglet

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A “tiny, plump neurosis with feathers” is how the ruby-crowned kinglet is described in Birds of Northern California by Quady et. al. (2015). This hyperactive bird is constantly flitting about while flicking its wings. Ruby-crowned kinglets (Regulus calendula) are among … Continue reading

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Dwarf Mountain Groundsel

This gallery contains 9 photos.

When Leonard and I climbed Mount Lassen in August, we saw groundsel plants high on the mountain near the summit. When I tried to identify these plants I wandered into a taxonomic muddle. First I determined that this was Senecio … Continue reading

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Pygmy Rabbit

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Found in the Great Basin and some adjacent intermountain areas between about 4,000 and 7,000 feet, pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) usually remain in dense cover, rarely venturing out into the open. Therefore¬† Leonard and I were surprised to see one … Continue reading

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Halogeton

This gallery contains 8 photos.

A native of Asia (China, Russia), halogeton (Halogeton glomeratus) is now naturalized throughout the American West and is considered a noxious weed. I read a theory that postulated the Soviet Union dropped halogeton seeds from spy planes onto Western rangelands … Continue reading

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