I’ll have to make do with a short post this month, since I’m out of office for the next two weeks solid. This week, I’ll be doing more surveys for scurfpeas (Pediomelum pentaphyllum)–they are up, including a fair number of seedlings, due to a wetter-than-average spring. Since this species is not particularly predictable, when they’re up we ought to do surveys. We’ve got a crew together and now we just have to hope the little buggers stay up long enough! Spring annuals on shallower soils are already going crispy; the deeper sand that Pediomelum pentaphyllum prefers stays wetter longer, but we’re looking at warmer temperatures and poor odds of rain until July. Anything with this species seems to be a race against time–by the time they’re up and large enough to think about surveys, you need to get a crew in the field pronto because you don’t know how long it will last. We don’t have too much scurfpea surveying to do, only 3,000 or 4,000 acres, so we should be OK. I hope. We’ll follow that with some Peniocereus greggii var. greggii and Opuntia arenaria surveys, but those don’t care about timing. I’m also planning on heading out to see Peniocereus greggii var. greggii in flower in May, so hopefully I’ll have some good photos to share with you all. I still haven’t seen it in its spectacular flowering state, but only in its 51 weeks of the year “dead stick” state.
The week after that, I’ll be at the National Native Seed Conference in Santa Fe. I assume at least one other CLM intern will be there. Luckily, the survey crew is made up of experienced, reliable folks so they should be fine for a week in my absence.