Recommended Posts

Here's another site way high up in the mountains that's actually relatively small, but jam packed with plants! We nick-named it the mountain creek site because a creek runs right through the middle of the habitat and, well, it's in the mountains! Not really rocket science :) The plants here are absolutely outstanding, and many were producing very large traps.

Here's the creek that gives the site its name: despite low water levels and record drought, there was still plenty of water at this site:

15402315859_82bf3bf4f2_b.jpg

Do you see the mountain the background? It's made of very porous rocks, and those rocks collect moisture. Because of the volume of rocks and spaces in between the rocks of this mountain, water collects like a sponge. Downhill (where the darlingtonia site is) water constantly seeps out from the mountain, and the beginning of the spring is where Darlingtonias grow:

15586269951_266431e63d_c.jpg

All of this water feeds down a steep creek, which eventually feeds into the river that goes to the ocean. At the bottom of this valley in the background is the creek:

15402740298_1ef4e834e9_c.jpg

But let's go back to the site. "Ay, yo Rob!!!":

14968105864_e644fdd869_c.jpg

remember all of those darlingtonias you killed in the past? Well, don't feel so bad, they also die out in the wild. Here are some skeletal remains and even some dying seedlings. Why are they biting the dust? My guess, in this instance, is heat stress. Usually, water diversion causes issues, but you can clearly see water in this photo:

15402306209_e01d7f0aee_b.jpg

Further evidence of heat stress:recent burning of the traps:

14968776463_3d75749faa_c.jpg

Rob tested the water at various sites, and the range was between 30ppm to about 70ppm. I believe this site was around 40 ppm (can't remember for sure). Salty water isn't likely the cause of death here:

14968775963_234e8fe811_b.jpg

This was definitely a site to behold:

15402915767_c8cdb76c16_b.jpg

14968178934_d7e3721253_b.jpg

15402801298_932b4f13a3_b.jpg

15402301499_c34b8a057d_c.jpg

Some red plants grow here too!

15565234856_04888667c7_c.jpg

Powdery mildew is common in the wild:

15588923095_b4346bcdee_c.jpg

Plants can form dense populations:

14968790433_09f731c009_c.jpg

What are Darlingtonias eating in the wild? I've been visiting sites for almost 2 decades now and have never opened one up, but I felt it was important for us all to see what's inside: cucumber beetles, and mainly flying insects. Notice the maggots at the top of the pile of dead bodies: what you can't tell is before the trap was split open, it was filled with this really nasty, rotting water! The maggots were on top of all the corpses so they wouldn't be under water:

15589751642_2c304a1d73_b.jpg

Edited by meizwang
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stop it Mike, I don't have room for another greenhouse.

 

:wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone! There's still a lot of photos and more sites that I'll post in the near future, so stay tuned!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this