MISSION CREEK PRESERVE FEBRUARY 2010 PAGE ONE
Photographs by Michael Charters




This was a follow-up hike to my last one, only this time I began at the gate of Mission Creek Preserve, a part of the Wildlands Conservancy's Sand to Snow Preserve System, and headed up canyon, crossing Mission Creek and then over the ridge into Whitewater Canyon, collecting some samples of the oaks I saw there to verify their identification. There were hardly any annuals at all, but the real treat was the Ziziphus which was in magnificent bloom and abundance, and scented the air around with a sweet fragrance. The soil was clearly very moist so it probably rained here yesterday, and given the amount of rain there has been, a few weeks of warm weather might produce a terrific bloom. A close microscopic inspection of the upper and lower surfaces of the oak leaves revealed the presence of fairly dense stellate hairs confirming my original identification of all the shrubs I looked at as Quercus cornelius-mulleri. An asterisk next to the common name indicates a non-native taxon.


   
White fiesta flower
Pholistoma membranaceum
Boraginaceae
 
Creosote bush
Larrea tridentata
Zygophyllaceae


 
Common fiddleneck
Amsinckia menziesii var. intermedia
Boraginaceae

 
 
Bladderpod
Isomeris arborea
Brassicaceae
 
 
 
 
Flat-topped buckwheat ?
Eriogonum plumatella
Polygonaceae
Desert almond
Prunus fasciculata var. fasciculata
Rosaceae
 
 

   
Lotebush
Ziziphus parryi
Rhamnaceae


 
 
Curvenut pectocarya
Pectocarya recurvata
Boraginaceae



   
Desert mistletoe
Phoradendron californicum
Viscaceae


 
Royal goldfields
Lasthenia coronaria
Asteraceae

 
 
Screwbean mesquite
Prosopis pubescens
Fabaceae
 
Blue dicks
Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum
Themidaceae
Strigose lotus
Lotus strigosus
Fabaceae
   


   
Dobie pod, Slender tropidocarpum
Tropidocarpum gracile
Brassicaceae
 



 
Parish's goldeneye
Bahiopsis parishii
Asteraceae
   
Brittlebush
Encelia farinosa
Asteraceae