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Botanical Identification

March of the Caesalpinias 009

And the detail. Obviously this was taken just before sunrise, what a crazy time for light… And the colors of the ‘wand-holdback’, greens, reds, yellows, such a painterly plant. What’s with ‘wand-holdback’ anyway? Story?tlb_caesalpiniapods_detail

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Botanical Identification

March of the Caesalpinias 008 (the leaf)

And, from The Jepson Desert Manual:

C. virgata…LVS deciduous; 1° lflets 3, ternately arranged, lateral pair 0.5-1 cm, with 3-6 pairs of 2° lflets, terminal 1, 5-4 cm, with 8-10 pairs of 2° lflets.

~The Jepson Manual, pg. 308

The detail below is pretty spot on.

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Botanical Identification

March of the Caesalpinias 007

Even though the depth of field is not large in this picture, I love the colors, yellows, greens, reds, blues, all there for the taking. Taken in the blue hours so very, very little photoshop needed. And nice detail…

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Botanical Identification

March of the Caesalpinias 006

There’s something very pleasing about this composition. The repeated, blurred stalk in the left background, the flowers suggesting movement to the left, the desert making a very painterly backdrop. I can’t (or won’t) decide whether these flowers are more gorgeous in the blue hours or the golden hours. Either way, watching the desert as the sun comes up is a beautiful experience, with a gentle wind announcing the sun’s coming and the little flowers dancing in the dawn.

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Botanical Identification

March of the Caesalpinias 005

With a little bit of a better detail to see the inflorescence and leaf. What’s great about the above picture is the flashes of purple in the background.

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March of the Caesalpinias, sticky seed pods

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Botanical Identification

March of the Caesalpinias… Those racemes!

Caesalpinia virgata racemes… For them what’s in the know:

A raceme (/rˈsm/ or /rəˈsm/) is an unbranched, indeterminate type of inflorescence bearing pedicellate flowers—flowers having short floral stalks called pedicels—along its axis.

~wikipedia

These Caesalpinia virgatas have that in spades (racemes that is)! I have never seen these types of structures before coming to the desert. In the wild, possibly in the buff… Wait, nope, I have seen this type of flower arrangement before, on Rosa multiflora! Sheesh! And I’ve definitely seen those in the buff….

Caesalpinia virgata raceme

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Botanical Identification

March of the Caesalpinias 002

This picture gives the flowers, and the hill, the space they deserve. Especially at the time of year this was taken, 2/28/16, 6:46:47 AM. It would be wrong to call the mountain barren, but maybe spacious? Or expansive? It was very nice to have very little dense undergrowth (as opposed to the Manzanita groves in Idyllwild—whoa). Since Karla and I were less than a little unfamiliar with the denizens of the slopes.

Trying to get the caesalpinia virgatas to hold still was never really going to happen; their long, stately stalks doing a really good job of getting the flowers high up. I eventually got so exasperated that I would take movies just to have something to take home! However, every once in a while, I could get some nice still images (like the caesalpinia virgata below). Enjoy!

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Botanical Identification

March of the Caesalpinias

It’s time to go back and plow through all the pictures we took up the hill… Oi Vey… Instead of trying to pick the prettiest ones (which is impossible), we’re just going to go one by one. Hence the march. This Caesalpinia was one of the first flowers we really sat down and got the pictures right. This image was taken about 45 seconds before 5:30AM, the blue hour lighting really sets off the yellow flowers.

What I also like about this image are the colors in the new leaves in the upper right corner, a really different green from the desert-esque blue-green of the more mature stems. The burgundy tips of the fronds (?) are also striking. Can I get a little detail? Why of course!

Detail of Caesalpinia Virgata

These are the beginning of the beautiful pinnately compound leaves, with the one compound pinnate leaf parallel to the stem larger than the other two. Beautiful. I think it’s time to view some botanical descriptions of this lovely native californian…

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Caesalpinia virgata, up the hill

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We woke up early, and got some nice shots on the cusp of the blue and golden hours.  It doesn’t take long for the sun to get very harsh here (and hot)! We were worried that this little lovely Caesalpinia virgata might get trampled, as it’s right next to a very popular hiking trail. However, it’s doing well, and apparently has been here for a while. We did find another, stable, older bush in a more remote and less trample-ly location. Maybe we’ll find more when we go up further?

 

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Botanical Identification

Little flowers, up the hill…

Now, also known as Caesalpinia virgata, or… Wait for it, Hoffmannseggia microphylla. Yep.

Below are the leaves, they are a compound three-part multipinnate structure. I think I need to take a shot from directly above the plant to really illustrate how neat they are.

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Botanical Identification Travel

Up the hill, further.

CheeseBush-maybe

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