Busy in Big Bear

I have been pretty busy since the last time I posted.  At the beginning of March I went to Joshua Tree National Park to attend a workshop on biological soil crusts.  The lichenologist, Kerry Knudsen, that I have been working with co-taught the class.  It was really interesting and JTNP is an amazing place!  Some plants were just starting to bloom. I will be going back on a camping trip there mid-April, and I hope to catch some more wildflowers!

In terms of office work, my co-worker and I have finished our invasive plant species guide and the first copies will be printed soon.  It will be field tested this summer and then the rest of the copies will be printed this fall.  I am excited because field season has begun!  We started surveying a couple weeks ago starting with a mining claim, where we saw Bocura shockleyi and Abronia nana var. covellei.  One of our survey projects for the summer is to survey unauthorized OHV routes for rare plants to help determine whether or not these illegal routes should be turned into authorized routes.  We found the senstive plants Castilleja plagiotoma and Syntrichopappus lemmonii surveying an OHV route. Tomorrow my co-worker and I are leaving for a bryophyte workshop in Santa Cruz!  I am so happy to go see the coast and the redwoods!  Not to mention, bryophytes are super cool.  It will be nice to be in a moister climate for a few days.  It snowed a tiny bit yesterday, but it is still much too dry here.

Look at the rhizines on this soil crust lichen! This is Endocarpon locosii.

Look at the rhizines on this soil crust lichen! This is Endocarpon locosii. I am obsessed with soil crusts after my JTNP trip!

I love the pink barrel cacti (ferocactus cylindraceus) nestled among the rocks!

I love the pink barrel cacti (Ferocactus cylindraceus) nestled among the rocks!

One of the few beautiful cactus flowers I saw in JTNP

One of the few beautiful cactus flowers I saw in JTNP

The Pencil Cholla (Cylindropuntia ramosissima)

The Pencil Cholla (Cylindropuntia ramosissima) is everywhere in JTNP

A gorgeous species of Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja sp.)

A gorgeous species of Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja sp.)

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The rock formations are so striking at JTNP

Look!  A soil crust!

Look! A soil crust!

I felt like a mountain goat surveying in this terrain.

I felt like a mountain goat surveying this mining claim.

Blooming Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia)

Blooming Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia)

The adorable and sensitive Syntrichopappus lemmonii

The adorable and sensitive Syntrichopappus lemmonii

The gorgeous lichen Pleopsidium flavum covering the rock

The gorgeous lichen Pleopsidium flavum covering the rock

Desert mistletoe (Phoradendron californica)

Desert mistletoe (Phoradendron californica)

The sensitive Bocura shockleyi

The sensitive Bocura shockleyi

The sensitive Abronia nana var. covellei

The sensitive Abronia nana var. covellei

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