Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Morning Stroll along Irrigation Ditches in Imperial Valley

Different Irrigation Ditches in Upper Imperial Valley (L and M Laterals) – Some with Arrowweed
Different Irrigation Ditches in Northern Imperial Valley Different Irrigation Ditches in Northern Imperial Valley Different Irrigation Ditches in Northern Imperial Valley Different Irrigation Ditches in Northern Imperial Valley

A morning walk (November 2013) along irrigation ditches in the Imperial Valley turned up a few interesting plants and a frog:

  • Pluchea sericea - Arrowweed Pluchea
  • Heliotropium curassavicum - Salt Heliotrope
  • Tamarix pentandra - Saltcedar, Tamarisk
  • Medicago sp. – Alfalfa
  • Washingtonia filifera - Desert Fan Palm stump
  • Lithobates berlandieri – Rio Grande Leopard Frog

Pluchea sericea, a member of the Asteraceae family, has an interesting story. Its straight stems were used in making arrow-shafts, in the construction of walls and roofs of mud huts, and in basket making. On the ditches we walked, the arrowweed was thick at times.

Left: Watering in the Imperial Valley; Right: Alfalfa Field in the Imperial Valley
Watering in the Imperial ValleyAlfalfa Field in the Imperial Valley

Views of Alfalfa Fields in the Imperial Valley
Views of Alfalfa Fields in the Imperial ValleyViews of Alfalfa Fields in the Imperial Valley

Arrowweed (Pluchea sericea) - Along Irrigation Ditches; Notice Straight Branches
Arrowweed (Pluchea sericea) - Along Irrigation Ditches; Notice Straight BrancArrowweed (Pluchea sericea) - Along Irrigation Ditches; Notice Straight Branc

Left: Citrus Grove: Fruit Under a Tree; Right: Ants in Citrus (Notice the Nice Outlining of the Carpels – see Binomen Art – Citrus)
Citrus Grove: Fruit Under a Tree

Books including on Flowers of the Southwest Deserts by Dodge and Janish. A page on Pluchea sericea.
Books including on Flowers of the Southwest Deserts by Dodge and Janish. A page on Pluchea sericea.Books including on Flowers of the Southwest Deserts by Dodge and Janish. A page on Pluchea sericea.

Left: Lithobates berlandieri – Rio Grande Leopard Frog – in an Imperial Valley ditch. Right: Ants along an Imperial Valley ditch.
 Lithobates berlandieri – Rio Grande Leopard Frog – in a ditch
Ants along a ditch

View Northwest Toward Chocolate Mountains and Shoreline of Ancient Lake CahuillaView North Northwest Toward Chocolate Mountains and Shoreline of Ancient Lake CahuilView North Northwest Toward Chocolate Mountains and Shoreline of Ancient Lake Cahuil

Palm Stump. Palms do not form tree rings because they are not true trees. This stump, likely a Washingtonia filifera, Desert Fan Palm.
Palm Stump. Palms do not form tree rings because they are not true trees. This stump, likely a Washingtonia filifera, Desert Fan Palm.Palm Stump. Palms do not form tree rings because they are not true trees. This stump, likely a Washingtonia filifera, Desert Fan Palm.

Heliotropium curassavicum - Salt Heliotrope. A member of the Borage family. Flowers curve in scorpioid cyme form or arrangement of flowers, common to the family.


Tamarix pentandra - Saltcedar, Tamarisk or Tamarix – Along a Ditch
Tamarix pentandra - Saltcedar, Tamarisk or Tamarix – Along a DitchTamarix pentandra - Saltcedar, Tamarisk or Tamarix – Along a DitchTamarix pentandra - Saltcedar, Tamarisk or Tamarix – Along a Ditch

End of the Road? Near East Simpson Road and East Highline Canal Road, Imperial Valley (http://viewer.nationalmap.gov/viewer/).
End of the Road? Near East Simpson Road and East Highline Canal Road, Imperial ValleyEnd of the Road? Near East Simpson Road and East Highline Canal Road, Imperial Valley ( http://viewer.nationalmap.gov/viewer/)End of the Road? Near East Simpson Road and East Highline Canal Road, Imperial Valley

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