11-15-13 Plant Field Note

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11-15-13 Plant Field Note

November 15, 2013

Rebecca Durham's Plant Field Note reveals the winner of the phenology prize, diminutive mushrooms on a pine cone, and ripe sage seeds.

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Plant Field Note MPG Operations Rebecca Durham November 2013

Diminutive mushrooms sprout from a Doug-fir cone (Pseudotsuga menziesii, North Ridge).

Above the top house a Midwest-like vista unfolds: unbroken topography, undulating grass, a coil of clouds.

Sagebrush and fringed sage finally ripen the second week of November. No other native plants exhibit such late patterns of flower and fruit development. Now phenology data collection ceases until spring (Artemisia tridentata, Corral).

The bulk of leafy spurge moves towards senescence, but some individuals remain green (Euphorbia esula, Whaley).

Stork’s bill wins the phenology prize, flowering from April to November (Erodium cicutarium, Whaley). Swelling moon gleams sun. Snowberries echo fullness. How it rises.

Microsites shape the vegetative landscape. The north facing slope supports thick fescue fangled by increased moisture. The long shade period discourages ungulate use, thus less browse and disturbance occurs. This compounding effect helps create polar plant assemblages across draws. Bluebunch, cheatgrass and weeds often dominate south slopes, which undergo greater disturbance from animal use (Whaley).

Bitterbrush seines a symphonic sky, seamless, saturated, this endless blue (Whaley).

Previous Field Note

10-17-13 Field Note