Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Native plant societies and my recent article

I recently published a short article in the Arizona Native Plant societies biannual publication "The Plant Press".

Here is a link to the publication: 
My article can be found on pages six and seven of The Plant Press.  The article is titled "Ephemeral drainages: the quiet riparian plant community".  Ephemeral drainage is simply a fancy word for "dry wash".  This article is a short overview of the physical and botanical aspects of ephemeral drainages in the Sonoran Desert.  Below are the two pictures I took of a Sonoran Desert ephemeral drainage near my home for this article.

A deeply incised drainage close to mountainside of the White Tank Mountains.  These deeply incised drainages are typically inhabited by Palo Verde, cacti, and Brittlebrush.

A shallow braided channel much further away from the White Tank Mountains.  These shallow drainages often have more water flow through them during flash floods and as a result are inhabited by Acacia's, Creosote bush, Mesquite, and Ironwood.

This brings me to my next point: Native plant societies are a great way for someone to learn basic botany and natural history of a state or region.  I have been involved with the Arizona Native Plant Society for a number of years now.  Through societies like these a person can come in contact with scientists, experts, go on field trips, listen to speakers, and find materials, all of which will aid in educating someone on botany and natural history.  If you are interested in learning these things do a Google search for plant societies in your state.

On a related subject, in future postings I am planning on doing a series on the natural history of the Sonoran Desert.  This will involve a number of posts explaining Sonoran Desert geology, soils, hydrology, climate, plants, and animals.  I am also planning on doing a series on foraging for wild foods in the Sonoran Desert.  My foraging project is hopefully going to involve how to gather and eat Mesquite, Acacia, Palo Verde, Cholla, Prickley Pear, Saguaro, Wolfberry, Ironwood, and others.

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