Friday, April 24, 2009

habitat ~ 04/24/09 ~ Rocky Creek

Rocky Creek
April 24, 2009

posted 07/26/11 - The day started out foggy as is typical here on the coast. That's my friend looking for soap plant off the upper road close to the cabin in the second picture. The sign was to keep people away from a calf carcass that was tethered on the hill. If I remember correctly, the Ventana Wildlife Society had asked various land owners if they could set out calf carcasses to lure condors to the coast, like a twisted breadcrumb trail on a large scale. The tether was apparently tied to rebar to keep the coyotes from moving the carcass. And, we guessed they were using stillborn calves, because they were easy to obtain and carry into remote places. It all sounded silly to me. By the time we searched for soap plant, headed down the lower road to the camp area, ate lunch, watched butterflies, and headed out, the sun had burned through for gorgeous views on our drive back to town.

Fremont's star-lily ~ 04/24/09 ~ Rocky Creek

Fremont's star-lily
Toxicoscordion fremontii (formerly Zigadenus fremontii)
Melanthiaceae (formerly Liliaceae)

posted 07/26/11 - This is my best guess for ID. There is a possibility that it could be meadow death camas (T. venenosum), but that has been found further down the coast and inland at higher elevations.

What prompted me to look up this older photo was a recent post on soap plant. I recalled a friend who wanted to check on soap plants that she saw past their bloom the previous year at Rocky Creek, but she couldn't remember when that was. I had no idea what to look for and she described the flower stalks as being very tall and thin. While we found wavy leaves sprouting from the ground, we also found these seed pods. At the time, we had no idea what they were and wondered how long it would take for the soap plant to mature. I should tell her to check for soap plant flowers from June-July.