Monday, April 30, 2012

chewing the scenery

I may have mentioned this, but LORDY I love coastal sage scrub.
And I just returned from visiting it, mostly at Tijuana Estuary in San Diego.

(on a freaky aside, in the Wiki entry/CSS-link above,
the CSS photo was taken where I did my thesis research!)

This is a CSS glamor shot I took at Cabrillo NM, San Diego.

Here are some of the lovelies I saw.
LOTS of stuff blooming right now.

A very sexy grouping of some CSS species
put together at the Tijuana Estuary visitor center (VC).

So many of my little friends. =)
  • The thing in the middle is Shaw's agave (Agave shawii; per Calflora it's on the CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants on list  2.1 = rare, threatened, or endangered in CA; common elsewhere)
  • center bottom is barrel cactus (Ferocactus viridescens; per Calflora, it's also 2.1, rare, threatened, or endangered in CA; common elsewhere)
  • lower left is white sage (Salvia apiana; only found slightly beyond CA borders)
  • lower right is "fingertips" per Calflora, I know it as lady finger dudleya, but the name that 1st comes to mind we both agree upon, Dudleya edulis. Only found slightly beyond CA borders
  • the yellow and orange flowers on the right edge are deer weed (woah, apparently now called Acmispon glaber, I knew it as Lotus scoparius), this plant is an ally when you're trying to rehab CSS 'cause it fixes nitrogen, so feeds the soil
  • the big wacky hairdo at the top is Yucca whipplei, a.k.a. our Lord's candle, or chaparral yucca

I love Shaw's agave.
This is a huge one near the VC.
Gorgeous, rare plant.


This is bush mallow (Malacothamnus fasciculatus)--SO glamorous!

A shrub that can tower over you. STUNNING.

Blooming coastal cholla (Opuntia prolifera).
In my brain it's still "jumping cholla,"
aptly describing how it hops onto your socks,
pants, shoes, etc. =)

A very important, basic component of CSS:
California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum):

The below moth requires buckwheat to survive.
It's Hemileuca electra (electra buckmoth).
Gave me a HEART attack when I saw it fluttering
at the edge of a huge canyon at Joshua Tree NP.

That red will singe your brain.

Back at the TJ estuary, looking south toward Mexico (buildings/hills).
In the white flat space between,
there's a serious seabird rave out there, esp. terns.
Wingless bipeds need not apply.

It's so San Diego.

Amazing natural resources,
w/ GIGANTIC military helicopters buzzing overhead,
amid a HUGE urban jungle,
and if you trip and fall, you might land in Mexico.


It's never dull.



  1. Nice. Miss it out there, back in the Era of False Prosperity, we got to travel out to SD and Baja Norte a few times to surf, fish, and do the tourist thing.

    Have to be honest, though, as a coastal wetland guy I do prefer Los Penasquitos Creek up the road at Torrey Pines!

    1. Well, you are WAY more qualified to judge than I. =) I'm just a sucker for succulents. I'll admit driving up I-5 I saw SO many wetlands I did NOT visit that I wanted to. =)

  2. So gorgeous!

    And *I* love Shaw's agave, too, though I've been able to appreciate it only in the National Botanic Garden! (It's still lovely, but its surroundings lack something.)

    Love the seabird rave, too; that so well describes those raucous groups of wild waterfowl!

    1. FYI, the 1st shot in this post shows Shaw's agave blooming, a LOT of them, sending up their giant stalks to give the bats a thrill. =)

  3. good lordy i'm lovin' all that spiny stuffs!


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