Spring in Gasquet, California
Posted 02 May 2008 - 02:53 AM
It is now springtime in the northern hemisphere, with plants erupting in bloom in temperate countries across the globe -- including P.macroceras subsp.nortensis and Darlingtonia californica in the Gasquet area of northern California! :)
On the weekend of April 19-20, I visited the area with the help of Harry Tryon, a CPer who lives in Gasquet and knows countless CP sites. He was kind enough to show me around to several of these, and I can’t thank him enough for the wonderful time I had and fantastic plants I saw.
I left San Francisco early Saturday morning, drove ~600km north through beautiful redwood forests along highway 101, and arrived a little after noon in Gasquet. The 1st site Harry took me to see was a wet semi-shaded mossy bank by the road with P.macroceras subsp.nortensis. Here are some pics of the habitat and plants. Notice how on several plants there are dead scapes from the previous season.
Posted 02 May 2008 - 02:53 AM
Pings with prey:
Can’t-get-easier-than-this roadside P.macroceras:
Posted 02 May 2008 - 02:54 AM
This was maybe the largest P.macroceras I saw that weekend:
We had some “freak showers” that afternoon. I’m not sure what to call it, but it wasn’t rain because it was frozen. Nor was it snow, because there were no flakes. It also wasn’t hail, because it didn’t form hard little ice pellets. It was more like a shower of tiny snow balls… Maybe sleet? Anyways, these tiny snowballs covered the ground and the Pinguicula. You can see them in these shots:
The 4th site was similar to the 2nd, only smaller & shadier. P.macroceras were not yet flowering (not even signs of flower buds) and Darlingtonia were just starting to send up scapes. In the second habitat shot below (where you can see Harry’s car), maybe you can spot some vertical white streaks, which were the sleet pellets raining down on us.
The 5th site was quite different from all the rest. Located on the top of a mountain, it was a flat grassy seepage where Darlingtonia grew among grasses. D.rotundifolia also grew there and were just coming out of dormancy. It seems like most D.rotundifolia were in very wet spots, usually with the dormant rosettes underwater. None of the Drosera had signs of flower scapes, but I think a few Darlingtonia had young scapes.
Posted 02 May 2008 - 02:55 AM
And look at the SIZE of the hoods compared to Harry's hand!
Darlingtonia & P.macroceras
And here you have all 3 CPs, can you see them?
The 7th site visited contained only P.macroceras. It was a small population, but growing densely on nearly vertical cliffs along a small stream/ waterfall. All flowers seemed to be facing me, it was beautiful!!!
All these 7 sites were visited on Saturday afternoon alone! And still we had time to visit a magnificent redwood forest, have some fresh seafood for dinner by the ocean, and drive a bit along the strikingly beautiful coast of northern California. I went to bed wondering if we’d be able to visit as many CP sites on Sunday morning, before driving back to San Francisco.
Edited by Fernando Rivadavia, 02 May 2008 - 03:01 AM.
Posted 02 May 2008 - 02:55 AM
Cephalotus under snow, that’s a 1st for me! :)
Posted 02 May 2008 - 02:56 AM
Here’s one of the streams:
And here’s Harry standing next to another stream:
Here’s a young flower:
Observe the color variation in Darlingtonia:
Darlingtonia & P.macroceras:
P.macroceras & D.rotundifolia:
After saying many goodbyes and thank yous to Harry, I left Gasquet around noon on Sunday and – against Harry’s advice – decided to risk driving back along highway 5. It was risky because there is a high mountain pass which could be snowed in, with no cars passing. I didn’t have chains for the car wheels nor do I have any experience driving in snow! In the end the mountain pass was open (although the roadsides were deep in snow) and I was able to enjoy fantastic views of snowy mountains on my drive to San Francisco, like the magnificent Mt.Shasta:
Thanks tons to Harry for a great weekend, what a guy!!! ;)
P.S. Look what a lucky guy Harry is. Just across the river from Harry’s house, there are even some Darlingtonia & P.macroceras (but you can’t see them in this pic, sorry!):
Posted 02 May 2008 - 03:05 AM
Thanks, Fernando Rivadavia
Posted 02 May 2008 - 03:08 AM
Posted 02 May 2008 - 07:53 AM
pings look stunning in such numbers and i love that scrambling/climbing habit of darlingtonias on cliff faces
Posted 02 May 2008 - 08:07 AM
Posted 02 May 2008 - 12:43 PM
Thanks for this interesting trip report and for showing these amazing habitats!
So, now you have seen all CPs growing in California. Nice. Come on, move back to Brazil!! ;);)
Posted 02 May 2008 - 13:39 PM
Edited by Fernando Rivadavia, 02 May 2008 - 13:40 PM.
Posted 02 May 2008 - 13:48 PM
Fantastic report! Exceptional photography (as usual!), felt like I was right there with you and Harry!
Great to see those plants again!
Posted 02 May 2008 - 15:34 PM
Posted 02 May 2008 - 16:39 PM
Posted 02 May 2008 - 17:11 PM
Posted 02 May 2008 - 17:53 PM
thanks for sharing these pictures. It's now about a decade ago that I did my last CP hunt in California. I still remember some of the sites you showed us above. Unfortunately, I never came on time to see the P. macroceras ssp. nortensis in flower.
If things work out well, I will have a few free days in late july to go there again (of course, only to save my employer travelling expenses).
Posted 02 May 2008 - 18:00 PM
I like the CP setup from Harry, especially the "monorail" type growing table in the last picture!
Posted 02 May 2008 - 18:28 PM
very nice pictures, must have been a very interesting weekend.
It´s always nice to see that several species are growing next to each other.
Also a nice surprice with the snow.
Harry must be a very happy man to live in an area where CP´s are growing next to his own garden.
Thanks for sharing these pictures.