Troubleshooting upcoming issues…

Rolling into my 9th week, I am getting more comfortable with my surroundings and the lay of the land. Thanks to the SOS workshop I can more confidently scope out for possible seed collections and have a better grasp on what I need to do.

As time progresses us more into the summer the temperatures are increasing. Last week and all week long temperatures peaked at 112 degrees Fahrenheit. To deal with those temperatures, we had to be in the field early, before the heat took over. Thank goodness this week had highs of only 95 degrees, although I see another heat wave in the near future. With increasing temperatures, things are drying out quickly. Much of the Redding’s BLM land is covered in invasive grasses. They are now dried to a crisp and create fields of golden yellow-brown.

Sacramento River Bend Recreational Area

Seeds are starting to ripen with aid from this heat! Another collection has been made of a California fescue. This is particularly exciting because A) it is a big population of this fescue and has not been taken over by non-native grasses and B) it would come in handy for any future restoration projects. The collection was done under the canopy of grey pine so it was nice and shady when collecting and I did not have to stand out in the sun. This most definitely will not be true for other collections but at least there are some that can be done out of the sun.

California fescue collection sight

I have had one failed collection so far. I started a collection of Arnica discoidea before the training week. When I came back more well informed, I realized that this population was not big enough for a 10,000+ seed collection. Most of the seeds had been predated on or aborted and what I thought what a 50-60 seed flower head was more likely a 20-30 seed head. Oh well, it was a good experience learning the plant and now I know for future collections!

Some other issues have arisen in this past month as most of my collection plants start to ripen. I still feel as if I am not confident on when some seeds are ready to collect. Ceanothus integerrimus has explosive capsules, so I need to make sure to get there before the seed explode out of the capsule, but when would it be too early? Also, predation is a thing! My whole Kotolo milkweed population got wiped out by grasshoppers. All the flower heads had been eaten and only the vegetation remains. It will be hard to get seed from that one without any flowers! Looks like i’ll have to do some more scouting for more milkweed or just possibly another plant that has a large enough population!

This is the beautiful kotolo milkweed that we would of gotten seed from if not predation!

So being not a very picture oriented person, I have not taken too many photos of the field from last time I posted. But, I do have a nice photo of a Pyrola aphylla. This is seeming to pop of everywhere now and is always fun to see as it adds color to a brown landscape.

Pyrola aphylla



  • Amanda at the Redding Field Office- BLM

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