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Engaging in the natural processes that sustain us...
Stone Age Skills

Onyx Summit Hike - July 25 2005

Went up about 500 feet to get a picture of the closed basin (probably formed by tectonic activity along the 3-4 geologic faults that run through it) that Iím living in for the summer. You can see San Gorgonio mountain in the back (with snow).
 
As I climbed over hillsides of decomposing quartz monzonite (a type of granite), I came across some plants that had retained some of yesterdayís 1.5 inches of rain.

Raindrops on Lupine:

 

 
Evening Primrose (Oenothera californica):
 
Some other plants I encountered on the hike ...

Rose Sage (Salvia pachyphylla) - notice the bee?
 
Curl-Leaf Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius var. intermontanus) The white wisps are the flowers When wet, the resulting linear seeds auger themselves into the soil (like Stipa grasses do).
 
Beavertail Cactus (Opuntia basillaris var. basillaris) This cactus definitely prefers south-facing slopes.
 
Sierra Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis var. australis)
 
Pinyon Pine (Pinus monophylla) This is the only single-needle pine in the world.
 
Locoweed (Astragalus lentiginosus var. sierrae) [Chris Trammel and Justine Wilson took this photo]
 
Yarrow--pink form (Achillea millefolium)
 
Coyote Tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata)
 
Iím fairly certain that this is the poisonous Letharia columbiana lichenÖ
 
Juniper Mistletoe (Phoradendron juniperinum)
 
Veiled Polypore (Cryptoporus volvatus) I think this is the only fungus in the world that protects itís spore-bearing pore layer with a sheath. It relies on beetles to bore their way through the membranous veil, allowing the spores to then disseminate into the air. Chopped up, this fungus makes a decent
tea.

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