USA - Pacific States forum: Santa Monica Mountains, California - July 2011 - Early Summer

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ImageKelli
Jul 2, 2011 4:21 PM CST
Name: Kelli
California
Where summer is winter
It was a hot day so we took a relatively short and easy walk.

Young sycamore leaves are like velvet.
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climbing penstemon
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bristly ox-tongue
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I don't know what this is
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Alder leaves are sticky. Alders are pretty rare around here.
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Mexican elderberries
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bush mallow
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milk thistle
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bull mallow, probably
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The ringneck snake is a nice little snake
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cliff aster
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dinosaur
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This is about as hollow as a tree can get
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narrow leaf cattail
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This house was built in either 1865 or 1905. I've seen both dates. It burned down in 2007.
Thumb of 2011-07-02/Kelli/ab93d2

tadpoles - there were also waterboatmen in the creek
Thumb of 2011-07-02/Kelli/3b7790

California threadtorch
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scarlet monkeyflower
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coastal sage scrub vegetation
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branches of a coast live oak
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I don't know what that is that is turning yellow but it might be tarweed
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Imagebillyporter
Jul 3, 2011 4:31 AM CST
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa
Another nice hike with flowers I haven't seen before. I didn't know about the sycamore being velvery and the alder sticky. Love the dionosaur!!
A small town has no secrets except itself
ImageKelli
Jul 3, 2011 9:47 AM CST
Name: Kelli
California
Where summer is winter
I didn't know the alder was sticky, either. I guess I never touched the leaves before.
tropicbreeze
Jul 3, 2011 5:07 PM CST
Great photos again. The young sycamore leaves look a lot like our young Kapok Bush, Cochlospermum frazeri, leaves. I like the Agamid/dragon lizard ("dinosaur"). Dragons can be real characters.

"I don't know what this is" - that's a surprise coming from you. Hilarious!
ImageKelli
Jul 3, 2011 5:42 PM CST
Name: Kelli
California
Where summer is winter
tropicbreeze wrote:"I don't know what this is" - that's a surprise coming from you. Hilarious!


I try to know them all but I can't figure out what that one is.

Imagegardengus
Jul 11, 2011 4:18 PM CST
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5a
Truth is worth finding
Are Mexican elderberries eatable?

Our elderberries are not ripe enough to show color yet.
Thumb of 2011-07-11/gardengus/7705a8
ImageKelli
Jul 12, 2011 11:23 AM CST
Name: Kelli
California
Where summer is winter
Yes, they are edible and I think they are better than the eastern U.S. elderberries. They have less bitterness or something, or maybe my tastes have changed since I was a kid. I have read that if you eat them raw, you can have diarrhea problems. I've never had a problem, though I've never eaten mass quantities of raw ones, either. Back in the day, I used to make pie with the berries. Most people thought it was pretty good. (I had one person who didn't like it.) It was sort of like blackberry pie, but not exactly.
Imagegardengus
Jul 12, 2011 11:34 AM CST
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5a
Truth is worth finding
I agree the elderberries are bitter tasting they are good dried and put in muffins and such , also make a good syrup , I guess you add enough sugar almost anything is eatable. Smiling
They look larger more like blueberries. Do people sell them out there or are they just considered ''wild''.
ImageKelli
Jul 12, 2011 11:48 AM CST
Name: Kelli
California
Where summer is winter
They have that blue "bloom" like blueberries, but they are small. I don't exactly recall the size of the eastern elderberries, but I don't think the Mexican are much different. I have never seen elderberries for sale. I would guess that most people don't even know that they are edible, which is probably just as well. The wildlife probably need the food more than most people do.
Imagemarsue
Jul 16, 2011 10:47 AM CST
Name: Marilyn (Mau)
South-central Missouri-in the
Zone 6b
Another series of great photos and lovely wildflowers, Kelli! I chuckled at the "dragon". Sticking tongue out The California threadtorch is especially stunning! I'm surprised that hollow tree is still standing!! What are "waterboatmen"? Now tadpoles, I know quite well! Hilarious!
ImageKelli
Jul 16, 2011 10:59 AM CST
Name: Kelli
California
Where summer is winter
It's amazing how rugged some of the sycamore and oak trees are. The sycamores and coast live oaks are somewhat fire resistant. The alders are not. A lot of them died in the fire of 2007 but new ones are coming up now.

Waterboatmen are water bugs. http://www.everythingabout.net/articles/biology/animals/arth...
Imagemarsue
Jul 16, 2011 12:57 PM CST
Name: Marilyn (Mau)
South-central Missouri-in the
Zone 6b
Oh, I have seen those lots of times! We always just called them "water bugs". Hilarious!
Imagebillyporter
Jul 19, 2011 12:56 PM CST
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa
ROTFL!! I had a boatman in the birdbath the other day. They are a childhood memory of seeing them in the backwaters at our cabin.
A small town has no secrets except itself

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