MASON VALLEY, ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK
OCTOBER 2021 PAGE ONE
Photographs by Michael Charters




After a year and a half of self-imposed pandemic restrictions on my field trips and other excursions, I was worried that maybe it was time to put away my botany boots, so I decided to find out. The answer was that it wasn't time and I drove down to the Mason Valley area of Anza-Borrego, a distance of about 150 miles, to meet up with old friend Tom Chester who I hadn't botanized with in three and a half years, and new friend Don Rideout. Tom had told me that this was an area that would be worth exploring because it had received some monsoonal rain last August. I certainly didn't expect and I was completely amazed to see another old friend show up, Walt Fidler, who is always an invaluable asset to any botanical exploration. We worked our way up the valley, particularly along the base of a north-facing slope that showed signs of having received some rainfall recently. There had also been a fire there last year and that contributed to the growth of many taxa. Considering that it was late October, this area had a good deal more than would be expected, and it was great to be out there again on a beautiful fall day with no one else around except the four of us, temperatures in the 60's, brownies and cookies to be shared, flowers to be enjoyed, and as always on these outings good fellowship. We are definitely interested in going back there in the sping to see what winter rains might produce.


   
Chinchweed
Pectis papposa var. papposa
Asteraceae
 
Apricot mallow
Sphaeralcea ambigua var. ambigua
Malvaceae



 
Cooper's boxthorn
Lycium cooperi
Solanaceae

Named for naturalist and physician Dr. James Graham Cooper (1830-1902)


Desert agave
Agave deserti var. deserti
Agavaceae


 
Creosote bush
Larrea tridentata
Zygophyllaceae

Named for Spanish clergyman Juan Antonio Hernandez de Larrea (1731-1803)


   
Small wirelettuce
Stephanomeria exigua ssp. exigua
Asteraceae
 
Coyote melon
Cucurbita palmata
Cucurbitaceae


 
Desert sand-verbena
Abronia villosa var. villosa
Nyctaginaceae



   
Big galleta grass
Hilaria rigida
Poaceae

Named for August François César Provençal de Saint-Hilaire (1779-1853)
New Mexico ditaxis
Ditaxis neomexicana
Euphorbiaceae
 



 
California wild buckwheat
Eriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium
Polygonaceae


South-facing slope covered with jumping cholla (Opuntia bigelovii), California barrel cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus),
desert agave (Agave deserti var. deserti) and many other things.



PHOTO GALLERIES
INDEX
CALFLORA.NET PAGE TWO
OF THREE
CALIFORNIA PLANT NAMES: LATIN AND GREEK MEANINGS AND DERIVATIONS


Copyright © 2021 by Michael L. Charters.
The photographs contained on these web pages may not be reproduced without the express consent of the author.

Comments and/or questions may be addressed to: mmlcharters[at]calflora.net.