Toad in the Hole

May 17, 2007


Still no word from the data retrieval people. Ulp.

On the other tentacle, we saw our first-ever Antioch Dunes evening primroses in the wild today. We volunteered to help with a plant count of, yeah, Antioch Dunes evening primrose.

This flower is of course rare and endangered, partly because it's endemic to a very small area that's been trashed in the name of civilization -- sand was mined from this aeolian dune spot to make, among other things, bricks that went into the reconstruction of San Francisco after the '06 quake.

Antioch Dunes NWR is, as far as I know, the only NWR that was set aside for a plant rather than an animal. It has an endangered animal, though, the Lange's metalmark butterfly, who as a caterpillar feeds on the naked-stem buckwheat we also saw there, just about to bloom. We saw a few (rare) Contra Costa wallflower in bloom too. Unfortunately we also saw lots of yellow starthistle, pepperweed, some herbaceous purple-flowered vetch, mustard, cranesbill, anmd other invasive exotics. Not to mention ripgut brome, whose awns I'm still pulling out of sox and sneakers.

Also saw a pair of kingfishers, Canada geese, western kingbird, mockingbirds, crows aplenty, cliff and rough-winged swallows, a male harrier, house finch, Brewer's blackbird, kestrel, others I'm too tired to remember.

Pix of the posies when I get them uploaded.

Posted at May 17, 2007 06:32 AM


A couple of years ago, "Bay Nature" had an article on Antioch Dunes NWR.
An earlier "Bay Nature" article stated:
"The rare Antioch Dunes evening primrose blooms for only one night, and only here, on the remnant sand dunes of the Delta shoreline."


I'm still looking for some old photos of the dunes the way they were when they were dunes, pre-mining and, dare I say it, pre-civilization?

Posted by: Sally at May 17, 2007 09:25 PM

I'm prayin' to Jesus for your data to be recovered. (Okay, not really. I do continue to hope for salvage, however, if not salvation.)

Meanwhile, it is interesting to think about bricks that might be made partly of primroses, and glass. Poems are everywhere.

Posted by: Sara at May 18, 2007 12:38 AM

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