It’s the View

The sun explodes behind the Organ Mountains.

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The action of water and soil.

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The action of light and shadow…a cool 62F / 17C morning low with low humidity didn’t hurt, either, especially this time of year.

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Golds, olives, and green mounds. Distant, low hills.

If it’s any consolation, when it dries out this time of year, we get hot in the afternoon – it was almost 100F / 38C at 3 pm.

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Prominence

With my eyes, I can see what stands out in one view. With my camera, especially my phone, that’s not so easy.

Looking at the shaded hill, golden Bahia absinthifolia is all over, but the sky and sunlit hill beyond is washed out.

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Focus on the next hill in the sun, a ubiquitous clump of Fouquieria splendens at the beginning of the slope, and a clean, blue sky.

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I can almost feel fall coming on with this color palette, including the crisp look to everything. Though with this strong of a monsoon season, my guess is we have at least a month before the above stays around and it becomes cool.

8/27/17 weather: 90 / 66 / 0.00

Disturbance

When buildings, roads, and trails are built, the land is disturbed, and the soil is compacted or stirred up. Sometimes it’s simply unstable because of sands and wind erosion hits, or our cherished monsoon season rains sheet water downhill periodically.

But there’s a plant for that!

Speaking of sand, sand is on everything in my neighborhood and nearby trail areas. Mirabilis multiflora / Desert Four O’Clock and Ephedra aspera / Boundary Ephedra are here to help hold it in place. And the former attracts pollinators before the sun gets too high, so it can continue and expand its mission in life.

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Bahia absinthifolia / Desert Bahia colonizes where someone probably drove over creosote bushes, leaving the soils bare.

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And more weedy asters…daisies…opportunistic composites like moundy Gutierrezia microcephela / Threadleaf Snakeweed and whitish Zinnia acerosa / Desert Zinnia do the same across the jeep trail further down.

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Have a landscape problem to solve?

Then look more closely to see which native plants respond to disturbance, not just neglect, and which don’t need irrigation life support to do it.

8/25/17 weather: 86 / 65 / 0.00