Fun with Sphaeralcea

Hello World,

Sphaeralcea is, in many ways, a wonderful genus. It is found throughout the western United States, it’s pretty, pollinators like it, herbivores like it, it germinates well and is easy to cultivate, and thus it is one of the few native genera that is readily available commercially for restoration use. However, if you’ve tried to identify them you are probably painfully aware that, although the genus is very easy to identify, species within it are an awful muddled mess. Part of the problem is that, despite how ubiquitous and important Sphaeralcea is, taxonomists have avoided it like the plague. There has been no significant taxonomic research on Sphaeralcea since 1935. At that time, of course, there were relatively few herbarium specimens available and taxonomic techniques were rather crude, consisting essentially of “stare at plants for a long time and guess”. That approach seems to work dramatically better than it has any right to, and is still used, but in many genera it just won’t get you there.

I don’t have any insight to provide in solving the problem of Sphaeralcea taxonomy, so this is mostly just a plea for some hapless graduate student to sink into this particular mire. I do have some photographs and a pdf, though.

One of the Sphaeralcea I’ve been confused by this season is shown below. I had hoped to collect seed of this species, but phenology did not cooperate.

Those of you who are familiar with Sphaeralcea will probably think that this looks an awful lot like Sphaeralcea coccinea. That’s what I thought, too, and I’ve misidentified these in the past as Sphaeralcea coccinea. However, the anthers are dark and there is a well-developed epicalyx, neither of which is compatible with that species. Other possibilities that might come to mind are Sphaeralcea digitata, Sphaeralcea grossulariifolia (this was my next best guess once I decided it wasn’t Sphaeralcea coccinea), or Sphaeralcea laxa. However, there are various features, which I won’t go into here, that will eventually lead you to believe it cannot be any of those species. What will not occur to you, or at least didn’t occur to me, is that this could be Sphaeralcea hastulata, a species that has narrow, shallowly lobed leaves and pale anthers. But that is, apparently, what it is, at least in recent floristic works.

My plants are a very good match for the type specimen of Sphaeralcea pumila, a species named by Wooton and Standley back in 1909. You can see that type specimen here. Since 1909, that species has been moved to Sphaeralcea subhastata subsp. pumila, then Sphaeralcea subhastata var. pumila, and more recent floras will simply list Sphaeralcea subhastata, and by inference Sphaeralcea pumila along with it, as a synonym of Sphaeralcea hastulata without any further explanation. So, my plants are the same taxon as the type of Sphaeralcea pumila, therefore they are Sphaeralcea hastulata even though they don’t look like it and won’t go there in the key. Part of the problem here is that, as I mentioned before, there hasn’t been any significant taxonomic research on Sphaeralcea in the last 80 years. The best published work on the genus is still Thomas H. Kearney’s “The North American Species of the Genus Sphaeralcea Subgenus Eusphaeralcea“, published as an issue of the University of California Publications in Botany in 1935. Kearney calls this plant Sphaeralcea subhastata subsp. pumila. I tried for a little while to figure out why someone decided to dump Sphaeralcea subhastata and all its subspecies into Sphaeralcea hastulata, but I didn’t get anywhere. This is what happens to genera that go without research, subsequent botanists poke around a little, move some names, and generally muddy the waters in a piecemeal fashion, and there’s rarely any clear, easy-to-find record of who made what decision and why. However good or bad the last big treatment of the genus was, over time our understanding gets worse. And, of course, Kearney’s 1935 work isn’t carried by too many libraries (New Mexico State University’s library system doesn’t have it) and isn’t available online. Luckily, you can still buy old copies for a reasonable price. Some out-of-print botanical works are exorbitantly expensive, but I found Kearney’s for $20 or so, which isn’t too bad. Since it is still the best taxonomic treatment of Sphaeralcea in North America, I bought a copy and turned it into a pdf. I can never get paper books to be where I need them, when I need them. Pdfs are easier, I just stick them on my phone. If you like you can download it here. I’ll see if I can get it onto Biodiversity Heritage Library, too, but it isn’t there yet. It’s amazing how much you can find online these days. Also, I checked, and this work is not under copyright.

All Good Things…

Over the past 8 months, I’ve had a lot of really amazing opportunities here with the BLM / CLM internship program. I’ve gained experience with rare species monitoring, seed mixing, data management, GIS mapping, restoration seeding, plant identification, and more. Although I didn’t get the experience of being in a new place like most CLM interns because I already lived in Eugene, I did get to experience the place I live in a very different way.


“When I’m on all fours pawing through blades of grass in search of the tiny seedlings of Lomatium Bradshawii (a listed wetland prairie species) I feel like I’m part of a private universe.

Few people take the time to look closely… really closely at their landbase.

To most, the minute details in that particular place are completely invisible. Although plot work can at times be tedious, I try to remember how special it is to be able to interact daily with plants and animals most people will never even see.” – Rare Plant & Butterfly Monitoring in the Wetland Prairies of Western Oregon, May 2015


Most of my work centered around counting rare plants but I was also lucky to learn how to identify a variety of common species as well.

“These surveys introduced me to more than a dozen non-native prairie species and refreshed my knowledge of an equal number of native species. I’m excited to continue to hone my skills as a botanist in the upcoming months of this internship!” –   WEW Botanical Surveys, June 2015


I’m a quiet and reflective person by nature, and I don’t usually struggle with tedious activities. This internship forced me to push beyond my comfort zone and helped me to gain a renewed appreciation for all of the plant-monitoring work that is done on federal lands for conservation.

“Doing this much intensive and detail-oriented monitoring has been a challenge. There is usually a fleeting moment when I question a few life choices and fantasize about a desk job, or even my past as a bartender / waitress. I bribe myself with sips of coffee and the occasional stretch in an effort to ignore sore knees and the sharp florets poking through my socks and into my ankle bones. I agonize over my ability to detect each tiny plant and constantly push myself to look closer. My muscles strain and my mind wanders… only 30 more to go…

I’ve never meditated much but I imagine that the struggle to quiet one’s mind is similar to that of careful monotonous counting. In the end, my work equates to a few rows and columns of data; a collection of numbers to better know the trajectory of these rare species. As we walk to the car I notice my internal dialog with each step…1,2,3,4… I’m caught in a loop of numbers and when I close my eyes I can see those delicate leaves, the bashful flowering stem, and a particular shade of green that separates one plant from another in my mind’s eye.” – Counting Daisies, July 2015

Although it was sometimes a challenge, this position helped to solidify my future goals and gave me renewed motivation to pursue restoration as a career.

“Oddly, the notion that I could spend the rest of my life working to unlock the best possible way to restore native plant communities… and never truly find that answer… is one of the most appealing aspects of becoming a restoration practitioner. Unending challenge and the constant need to adapt, re-think, and start over, sounds like a lot of fun. Field work detached from that thought process will never hold my interest for more than the short term.” – An End to Vegetation Monitoring… The Beginning Of? August 2015


When I started this internship, I had already been working for over a year to put together a funded research project so that I could get my master’s degree. 8 months later, I’m finished with my first term of school and well on my way to designing several restoration-related research projects for my thesis. I’m thrilled to be one step closer to my goal of becoming a researcher and restoration practitioner.

“After several years of constantly feeling like everything was either just about to work out or blow up in my face I often look back and think of many things I wish I had known or done differently.

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn was how to tell the difference between things I had control over and those I didn’t… to put my future in the hands of my advisor and a host of strangers… and to just hope everything would work out.” – How Not to Start Graduate School, September 2015


One of my favorite activities of this internship was making wild seed mixes for restoration projects in the Willamette Valley. Doing this work solidified my desire to one day become an experienced grower of native plants.

“There is something truly amazing about being elbow deep in a bag full of Lomatium nudicaule seed that made the journey all the way from wild collection in a nearby remnant prairie, into a seed increase bed at a local native plant nursery, through an intense cleaning process, and finally back into the hands of the ecologists and botanists who will plant them into the threatened habitats they started in.” – Seed Castle October 2015


“While sprinkling the seed that I mixed while working at the “Seed Castle, I realized that this internship has allowed me to come full circle. Last spring and summer I spent my time quantifying the percent cover of native prairie species, then I learned to make seed mixes, and finally I got to spread seed on the ground for the next intern to quantify.” – Job Security, December 2015

The day is coming to an end and I’m turning in my ID card, keys, cleaning the hard drive, and compiling a list of accomplishments to add to my resume. I’m looking forward to devoting all of my time to my master’s degree and my research in the Great Basin this spring but will miss the meadowlark songs in the summer heat of the prairie, the hummocky wetland landscape, and the feeling of being at the beginning of this journey.


Not for the faint of heart

On our way out of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge a few weeks back, we spent a good ten minutes talking to a couple of women from the Midwest and Oregon who happened to be traveling around the country with their husbands after having sold their homes. We had a nice chat about conservation and restoration, and how the two of them had been academics.

We parted ways, at which point we came across another interesting character: a man who claimed to be working for the National Audubon Society taking photos of wildlife, namely birds, in the salt marshes. He said he had been a Marine Biologist and stressed the importance of having a wide skill set. His had helped him stay afloat – there wasn’t always a lot of money in Marine Biology, and having photography as a hobby paid off during the lulls in his main career.

He spoke to us about a trip he took with his wife during the summer in which they encountered a family that claimed to have fields and fields of Ginseng, which for any of you that are familiar with the plant know that it sells for a lot money. Apparently a lot of people in the mountains of NC (and probably elsewhere) make such claims to impress their friends, so take the story as you will.

Anyway, once we left his company we headed back to our car to stow our seeds and press our herbarium specimens. While getting everything packed up, one of the women we spoke to earlier came up to us and exclaimed, “have you two heard about the whale”? We obviously didn’t know what she was talking about since we had been in an interdune marsh all afternoon, so we asked what she meant. A whale had washed ashore and she and her friend went to see it, as there were many people stopping on the side of the road, pulling out their cameras, and hiking the dunes to gawk.

We assumed it was probably still alive, and maybe there would be a need for our new Marine Biologist friend to have a look at it and contact the necessary authorities to help it back into the ocean, if that’s what it needed. Much to our dismay, the whale was dead. Very dead. Like d-e-a-d dead. It must’ve been sitting there on the shore for well over a week, rotting in the sun and being eaten, inside and out, by who knows what.

The smell was awful, for one thing, and the sight of it was pretty bad too. For those of you that have smelled a dead animal before, but are not quite sure what a dead whale might smell like, imagine this: take a dead deer, for example, maybe roadkill. Stuff the body with all the seaweed you can find, throw a few fish in there for good measure, then let the corpse do its thing on the side of the road for a while in the heat. That’s about what this whale smelled like.

Once we got over the smell, we took a good look at this thing. The skin was mottled and stretched, full of holes like a balloon that’s been blown up too far and is wearing thinner and thinner. The entire back end was gone. The tail and what seemed like half the distance from the tail to the dorsal fins had been torn off. We’re not sure if it was a someone or a something that took it, but it made for an interesting view of the vertebrae. The head was mostly eaten away, but the big wide tongue remained.

Neither one of us knows a whole lot about whales, so maybe someone else can enlighten us on what type of whale it was. I’ll include one picture for that purpose, and I’ll spare the ones of the rotting flesh dripping from the skeleton.

We see a lot of interesting things on our travels. Maybe one of these days we’ll get to see a live whale!

Whale corpseTill next time.

Fast Times in Ridgecrest High (well, really only about 2200ft)

Looking at posts from the other interns, I’m as surprised as they are how fast my internship has gone by. It seems like just last week I was driving out to California, stepping out of my car believing I was in the Mojave Desert and abruptly realizing I had moved to the surface of the sun. Overwhelmed by my new surroundings and immediately missing hills, trees, and water. Thankfully things have cooled off since then, I’ve been many unique places that most people never get a chance to see, and I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty the desert can offer. I’ve formed many valuable relationships in the office and truly appreciate the people that I’ve spent time with. As with everywhere else I have worked and gone to school, it’s the people that make a place feel more like home.

Since my last post, we’ve continued our rangeland surveys. We’ve also performed a few Proper Functioning Condition surveys with the help of a botanist who recently retired from the field office. He worked here in Ridgecrest for almost 40 years–he’s such an interesting person to talk to and is an immense bank of knowledge. He knows the field office like the back of his hand and can point at just about any mountain and tell you the last time he hiked it and what populations of rare plants are found there. He’s also very well-versed in geology and hydrology, and knows all about how the features in the field office formed. I wish I could listen to him tell stories about the mountains here all day.

We’ve moved out of the northern portion of the field office and into a new allotment in the southern portion, and it’s been great getting to explore new areas. We’ve gotten to go through the Walker Pass area and have been spending many days up around Kelso Valley. The Starks would say, “Winter is Coming,” but they’d be wrong, because it’s here–I’m regretting not packing more winter clothes but that was the last thing on my mind in July! Apparently they don’t get much snow here in the valley, but some of the higher elevation areas have been turning white. Hopefully the weather holds out for one more week until I go home for Christmas.

Some final-internship-month highlights in photographic form:












Collecting seeds to help build habitats

The New England Seeds of Success 2015 season has now come to an end and it’s time to reflect on what we were able to accomplish. Each of us on the team has learned so much about the local environment, native taxa and not the least of which, how to describe the Seeds of Success program.

Throughout the past season our team has traveled throughout New England collecting seeds for restoration projects that ranged from establishing salt marsh plants in the face of rising sea levels to proving seeds to help stabilize river banks after removing dams. The common theme between all of these species, regardless of state or habitat, are that these species are the building blocks for each plant community.

It is these common and often under appreciated species that create and define each habitat. By collecting and storing these familiar species we are able to provide locally sourced native plant seeds to conservation efforts in the future. Although it sounds more glamorous to work with rare and endangered species, it is crucial that we also work on the commonplace species, because they provide the structure to support everything else.

Missing the Mountains Already

Photo Nov 09, 4 26 52 PM

Beautiful view of Upper Klamath Lake.

Sorry for the delay. I have been traveling quiet a bit these past few weeks. I am still in shock as to how fast my internship went. During my last few days I helped BOR with the A Canal forebay salvage. BOR funneled the fish (via a seine) towards the fish screen and hoisted them up in large fish bins.

BOR seining fish in the A Canal.

BOR seining fish in the A Canal.

We sorted through thousands of fish looking for any suckers. The suckers were then processed by USGS. They took fin clips, measurements, and PIT tagged all suckers. Nearly 700 were salvaged this year, while last year had counts of 130. The suckers were relocated to a nearby spring-fed inlet of Upper Klamath Lake.



Alia, Nolan, and Josh electrofishing.

Alia, Nolan, and Josh electrofishing.

We went electrofishing for Klamath sucker genetic samples one last time with Josh and Nolan near the Klamath Marsh Refuge. On my last day, I helped Julie install the cover for the greenhouse at Gone Fishing.

The cover is on and everything is looking great.

The cover is on and everything is looking great.







This internship surpassed every expectation I had. I feel so fortunate to have worked with so many passionate and inspiring people. Josh is an amazing mentor. He has great life lessons and even better stories. I gained a multitude of skills in such a short time. The Motorboat Operations Certification Course (MOCC) was extremely helpful. I had no experience with trailer backing or boating prior to this internship. Now I feel very confident performing both. It was rewarding to work on Upper Klamath Lake for most of the summer. I really enjoyed being a part of the collaborative efforts that Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Service has with other agencies. It was inspirational to see and hear about ongoing conservation efforts throughout the basin. One of the many highlights from my internship was seeing the suckers we raised school together as we released them. I’m glad that my roommates and I had the opportunities to explore the beautiful state of Oregon. I LOVE the Pacific Northwest and will definitely be back.

50+ hours, 2,950 miles, and countless stops later, Finn (my awesome dog) and I made it to our final destination of Chicago, IL. First, I had to travel to Lake Havasu, AZ to pick up a few things of mine. Next, I stopped in Las Vegas, NV to visit family. I had a great time there.

Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Area.

Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Area.

We went to Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Area. The history, geology, wildlife, and recreation (so many rock climbers) of Red Rock Canyon are fascinating. I love the fact that this area is located about 20 miles from the strip. I also went to my first Cirque du Soleil, Mystère. It was spectacular. After visiting family, I cruised over to visit friends in Colorado. It was nice to catch up with them. I have been in IL for a few days now. I was fortunate to be offered a seasonal job at UPS until I find something in my field. My experience with CLM internship and KFFWO has been amazing!

Thanks for reading,


Little Finn was sick of traveling.

Little Finn was tired of traveling.

Burns, Oregon- A Retrospective

IMG_2686 On the road near Independence Rock (WY).

It’s been just over a month now since I left Burns, Oregon. Sometimes one needs time and separation to get a proper perspective on past experiences, so it may be that my impression of Burns will change with time. Regardless, as I look back, there are a few key things that I think will be important for me going forward.

1) People. This is probably the go-to answer to the question of what is most important out of any experience. But I don’t think that makes it too cliche. It was easy to connect with my 3 fellow interns, especially since we were all the same age, worked and lived in the same place, hailed from generally suburban areas, and had all just graduated from college. It was sometimes harder to connect with people at work who were mostly older than me, disagreed with most of my political views, shared a much more rural background, and mostly disliked visiting cities let alone living near them. However, when you spend 10 hour days in a pickup truck in the hot, dry sagebrush with someone, there is plenty of time to talk about and get over differences. And I think that, for me, coming from a bastion of urban liberalism, it was vitally important to hear a different side of the story.

IMG_2300 Culture

2) Systems. For an ecologist like myself, each new place is a new system, with similarities and differences to other systems. This was the third major system in which I have had the privilege to do fieldwork, and it spreads my understanding over a larger swath of the country. To the eastern coastal ecosystems and the Missouri forests and glades, I can add the vast sagebrush steppe system to my list. In a way, its fire suppression problem is similar to the problem of juniper encroachment in Missouri glades, however its current problems surrounding wildfire and invasive species are unlike any I have seen before.

IMG_2284 The sagebrush steppe

3) Land. This internship gave me the chance to drive cross country twice- once from St. Louis, MO to Burns, OR and once from Burns, OR to Lexington, MA. These two trips took me through at least 17 different states, and my travels during the internship took me to two more; 5 were states I had never been to before. In all, the two cross country trips plus the internship allowed me to visit (if I’m not forgetting any) 6 national parks, 4 national monuments, 2 national historic parks, and many national forests, wilderness areas, BLM lands, and scenic areas. The amount of federally owned land in the US is enormous, far more than I realized at the beginning of the internship. The opportunity to see so much of it up close and in person was more than most people get. I can’t help but hope to spend more time traveling the country in the future.

IMG_2583The moon at sunset, Crater Lake National Park

So that’s it in a nutshell, whatever that means, but of course it was so much more… I hope some of the people I met in Burns enjoyed meeting a few outsiders, and perhaps learned something from conversing with someone so different from themselves.

Farewell CLM internship! I love you.

This is it, my CLM internship has come to an end. I am so thankful that I had this opportunity straight out of school, and that I have the opportunity to return for another season of greatness. Both my internships, one in NM and one in OR, made me a much stronger and more confident botanist. I worked with great people and explored incredible places. I soaked in local knowledge of culture, food, and ecology. I got to do work that was meaningful and important, and that I felt proud of. I really improved my skills in fieldwork and gained an understanding of how federal land management agencies work. I’ve just signed up to do a term with Americorps, but after that I intend to continue a job search with USFS or NPS. I can prove on my resume that I have experience driving 4-wheel drive through sand, mud, and even over rocks :)… and I can tell you if the flower receptacle was chaffy or not, in a raceme or a panicle. I can’t believe I got paid to do all of these wonderful things that I loved, in places that I loved. Deciding to be a CLM intern is honestly one of the best choices I have ever made. I am grateful to the moon and back for this experience and will remember my time in this internship for all my years. To Krissa, Rebecca, the rest of the folks at CBG that make this possible, my mentors Sheila and Kristin, friends met along the way, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my CLM intern heart.

Job Security


After an entire summer of plant monitoring it was a nice change of pace to help with a post-burn native seeding project on two BLM sites. When I was sprinkling the seed that I mixed while working at the “Seed Castle, I realized that this internship has allowed me to come full circle. Last spring and summer I spent my time quantifying the percent cover of native prairie species, then I learned to make seed mixes, and finally I got to spread seed on the ground for the next intern to quantify.


It took Christine and I 4 full days to seed nearly 40 acres of wetland prairie by hand. We would each carry two 5-gallon buckets filled with seeds and a corn husk filler material and try to distribute the seeds as evenly as possible. To keep track of where we had already been we worked in transects marked by pin-flags.


These two sites were both intentionally burned earlier in the fall. The reason behind controlled burning in this prairie system is to decrease encroachment from weedy grasses and small trees and shrubs. These ecosystems are utterly dependent on fire to maintain their open structure and the BLM and other agencies in the Willamette Valley use fire as a tool for restoration. Seeding after a burn gives native seeds a better chance of out-competing woody and invasive species.


As you can see, the recently burned soil surface produces a great environment for the germination of seeds and is also home to a variety of fungi. The bunchgrasses and carex species that grow in the prairies have adapted to frequent fire (a product of Native American management for thousands of years).



At the end of the day I got a dose of what I imagine the rest of you working in rangeland habitats encounter all the time.. cows! In the Willamette Valley there are very few public lands that still facilitate grazing and this herd of cows probably escaped from an adjacent private landowner’s property.

This was the first time I came in contact with cattle while doing restoration. My feelings about grazing-induced ecological collapse aside, being in the presence of these animals spawned a few unexpected realizations on my part. First, cows (especially with young calves nearby) are stubborn and kind of scary. I was especially concerned for my safety when I realized the sheer irony of a 12-year vegan being mauled by a meat cow while doing habitat restoration. Second, cows will eat native seeds right out of your wheelbarrow while your back is turned third, if you leave a five-gallon bucket unattended, cows will try to put their entire head inside, and finally, cows do not seem to understand my sarcasm when I refer to them as restorationist job security.

“Forensic Botany” in Groveland, CA

It’s the last day of my CLM Botany Internship with the Groveland Ranger District, and time has flown by. It’s been a pleasure to spend the past 5 1/2 months working on the Stanislaus National Forest.

I arrived in Groveland at the tail end of the field season and jumped on board with an awesome all-lady botany crew. My coworkers were extraordinary mentors for me- helping me get into the groove of field work in a new environment and showing me what the job entailed in terms of day to day tasks. I performed noxious weed and sensitive plant surveys for a number of projects in the Groveland Ranger District and have had the opportunity to foster many new skills.

Seeing as I began my position here long after a majority of the plants we were surveying for were fully senescent, I’ve become somewhat of a master at what I have deemed “forensic botany”. One of my goals coming into this job was to become more competent working with GIS software, and the last few months have provided ample learning opportunities. I have become well acquainted with the flora on Staunislaus National Forest, and have been able to partake in many adventures both on and off of the job.

The following photos are some highlights:

Sunrise over the Rim of the World - Groveland, CA

Sunrise over the Rim of the World – Groveland, CA

Smoke plume from a fire that sparked up during the early days of my internship.

Smoke plume from a fire that sparked up during the early days of my internship.

An overcast day on the Stanislaus National Forest

An overcast day on the Stanislaus National Forest

Old growth Quercus kelloggi (black oak) - DBH= 79in.

Old growth Quercus kelloggii (black oak) – DBH = 79in.

Crown of another old growth Quercus kelloggii (black oak)

Crown of another old growth Quercus kelloggii (black oak)

Base of old growth Quercus kelloggi (black oaks) DBH = 72in.

Base of old growth Quercus kelloggii (black oaks) DBH = 72in.

Lamprocaphus spectablilis (bleeding hearts). One of the few plants I was lucky enough to witness in bloom.

Lamprocaphus spectablilis (bleeding heart). One of the few plants I was lucky enough to witness in bloom.

Coprinus comatus (shaggy mane).

Coprinus comatus (shaggy mane).

Thousands of ladybugs!

Thousands of ladybugs!

Cooling of in the Tuolumne River during a weed treatment rafting trip.

Cooling of in the Tuolumne River during a weed treatment rafting trip.

One of my coworkers attempting to navigate through a sea of manzanita.

One of my coworkers attempting to navigate through a sea of manzanita.

A field of Centaurea meletensis (tocalote) documented during weed surveys on the El Portal Dozer Line.

A field of the noxious weed Centaurea melitensis (tocalote) documented while surveying the El Portal Dozer Line.

Population of Sissymbrium altissimum documented during Rim Reforestation botany surveys.

Noxious weed Sisymbium altissimum (tumble mustard) population.

A population of Clarkia biloba ssp. a;ustralis (Mariposa clarkia) documented during botany surveys for a new mountain bike trail system.

Clarkia biloba ssp. australis (mariposa clarkia), one of the more common sensitive plants encountered during botany surveys.

Remnants of Balsamorhiza macrolepis var. macrolepis (big-scale balsamroot) - one of the sensitive plants that we surveyed for.

Remnants of Balsamorhiza macrolepis var. macrolepis (big-scale balsamroot) – one of the sensitive plants that we surveyed for.

Can you spy the Balsamorhiza macrolepis var. macrolepis (big-scale balsamroot)?

Can you spy the Balsamorhiza macrolepis var. macrolepis (big-scale balsamroot)?

One of the spectacles along Evergreen Road.

One of the spectacles along Evergreen Road.

The following photos are from stochastic adventures I’ve been able to go off on during my weekends. Such fun!

Sunset on the way up to the Incredible Hulk - Sawtooth Ridge

Sunset on the way up to the Incredible Hulk – Sawtooth Ridge

Sunspot Dihedral on the Incredible Hulk - Sawtooth Ridge

Sunspot Dihedral on the Incredible Hulk – Sawtooth Ridge

A pair of ravens after a storm in Yosemite Valley

A pair of ravens after a storm in Yosemite Valley

A view of the sunrise on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park

A view of the sunrise on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park

Edging and smearing on the Burning Arches pitches of 'The Arsonist' on Fairview Dome -Tuolumne Meadows

Edging and smearing on the Burning Arches pitches of ‘The Arsonist’ on Fairview Dome -Tuolumne Meadows

Wrapping up the final pitch of Sons of Yesterday in Yosemite Valley

Wrapping up the final pitch of Sons of Yesterday in Yosemite Valley

Thank you to CLM and the Groveland Botany Crew for a great field season!