January 11, 2014

Alex and I hike on up the scree and loose rock and ledges above those deep arroyos on our higher range that rises from the edge of the Cascabel Road, and we’re delighted to find that there are so few buffelgrass plants that it takes some hunting to come up with any, and even better, none show evidence of having let seeds go into the wind. We’ve caught this lot before it could get into that invasive species’s gleeful mischief! They were all green, actively growing, several even with fresh purple inflorescences that would soon enough bear and drop those dreaded viable seeds. Heads with that propagation potential are nipped off and go into the trash bag, the plant from which it comes grubbed out with a dandelion fork and left to dry, die, and return its nutrients to the native wildflowers whose space it intended to usurp. Those wildflowers, by the way, are really developing! Lupines vigorous though still small, and lots of seedlngs of poppies, and green lacy seedlings of Phacelia. Oh, somehow to get those wildflowers their next drink, before it’s too late, but there’s nothing to give hope in the 10-day forecast. We come up with only eight buffelgrass plants in the whole area, none of them very large, all of them despite the precarious footing for us humans are easily, um, neutralized.