It's always fun finding a new plant that I have absolutely no idea what it is. Thanks to Rooted in California, I got a lead and looked into it. This plant is also called California everlasting or ladies' tobacco and can also be found under the genus Gnaphalium - maybe those who are in the know believe this isn't a real cudweed by adding pseudo. Simply based on online photos, the flower is superficially similar to pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea). I wonder if many online pictures are misidentified which creates some confusion for a novice like me. I do think this cudweed can be distinguished from pearly everlasting by the distinctive way how the leaf bases wrap around the stems and the slightly pointier buds.
ps 07/25/11 - As I've looked into a new post, Gnaphalium is the name used on Calflora.org. I haven't quite figured out why Jepson online is different from the 2nd edition in its acceptance of Pseudognaphalium as an alternative. In any case, I edited the scientific name above to include both possibilities.
On the wing, I always get American ladies mixed up with west coast ladies (V. annabella) and painted ladies (V. cardui). I have a suspicion that each flies distinctively (you know, fluttery or irratic or with a group or only along woods-meet-grassy areas kinda of thing), but I haven't seen this kind of description in the literature. Glassberg makes his typical off comment (and it is helpful), "American Ladies have big eyes and an open mind." The two large eyespots on the hindwing from below are what I look for to distinguish the American lady from the other two, which both have what look like 4 small eyespots... if I can actually catch one resting long enough to see. Plus, from above on the forewing, there is a tiny white dot in the orange cell under the black tips, but you'd have to use photographs or pinned specimens to notice this. Sigh...
Again, another I thought would be easy to identify. I checked all the Lupinus records from the Fort Ord plant list with CalFlora and CalPhotos, and this is my best guess based on the hairiness and it being wider near the top in profile.
If there was one plant that differentiatedFort Ord - BLM Creekside from my other local favorite hiking places, it would be the manzanita shrub. The last picture looks very similar to a previous manzanita posts, but what can I say, I adore the artsy look of the bare bark.
posted 08/27/10 - Was looking up past pictures from Fort Ord - Creekside this morning and found this thistle I neglected to post previously. It's appropriately named. Interestingly enough there's another variety of the same species that also includes the venus thistle.
For the longest time we couldn't figure out this sign on the plaza walls. It's poorly written. Then, my hubby found a G4 Ninja Warrior try-out vid from these same walls. The guy was good, but I can't find him online anymore.
Like my mom always insisted, get outside! Although, she preferred for us not to be bleeding, or covered head to toe in mud, or holding a bucket full of stinky crawdads to boil, or... well, you get my drift.
ps 06/23/10 - Continuing with this post, I get a good laugh at the odd looks I see from people while out and about during my early morning "walks" in addition to exclamations of "Holy ****, how'd you do that!?!" Here's another YouTube video that inspires me: click here.
pss 06/25/10 - For some reason, I've been getting more comments lately from complete strangers who see me. Today I met an exuberant mom with her two young children on the summer trolley. She said they spotted me earlier and thought I looked like I was having so much fun jumping around and that she wished she had as much energy so early in the morning... Um, hello? Don't have kids! Well, I didn't know quite how to respond in a nice way, so I thanked her and started a conversation on what she and her family planned to do while they were in town during her husband's business conference. Another couple sat on my favorite hopping rocks while I was passing through. I told them to not move as I jumped around them. I again laughed as their exclamations of "Huh? Whoa! Did she just do that?" faded away.
I dunno, maybe in my own mind I'm better than I really am, but it's kinda fun to hear these things. Mainly for me, it's all about finding my own inner balance. Many days I'm off kilter and take it slow. Other days, I feel entirely comfortable in my own body and the space around me and just go for it. It's a great feeling when that happens.