Of Clarkia, Fence Posts, and Bobcat Claws: Central Southeastern Redwood, May 20, 2011

These little Clarkias seem to have appeared recently, up at the first prairie I stumbled across while mapping broom on the east side of Redwood a couple of months ago now.  It is a place I named Pygmy Forest for the diminutive size of the trees there, which owes to some quality of the soil I imagine. I have explored a number of the other Pinehurst shale prairies since that day, all of which have mature trees of diminutive size, but they are truly smallest here on this prairie so I shall keep using the name.

There are endangered Clarkias in Redwood, up on the serpentinite on the west side, but I believe these are C. purpurea which is not endangered.  The other photo is of a soaproot flower spike, nearly six feet tall and with a backdrop of clouds from an incoming front.

There are no redwoods left on the east side, though there must have been some before all the logging, burning, and grazing began.  But there are eight-foot fence posts of old-growth redwood still standing, and largely intact. Look how very close together these growth rings are, and how straight they run in cross section.  A very old tree.  Likely not from this area, as the old growth was all gone by 1860 according to some accounts, but an ancient redwood nonetheless.

And near at hand, a tree of a different sort. A good one for scratching, if you are a bobcat. And just a reminder–all of these photos are uploaded as large files, so if you click on them you get a lot more detail!

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