Free Range Free Chat

Good Monday morning from the Great Lakes range, as we welcome another week of awakening beauty in our land of the free (chat).

This morning I stumbled upon a New York Times story about some California wildflower chasers.

Apparently the unusually wet winter and spring across central California has awakened some sleeping beauties that haven’t been seen in years.

A botanist with the California Botanic Garden in Claremont is hoping to find and document the existence of rare plants in order to help save them from extinction.

In order to get endangered or rare species designations, botanists must first prove they exist.

For example, this purple mountain majesty, a field of purple owl’s clover.

Billions of microscopic seeds lay dormant in the top layer of earth for years, even decades, until conditions were exactly right for them to emerge as wildflowers.

Pygmy poppy

Kelso Creek monkeyflower, and pygmy poppy

A Kelso Creek monkeyflower and a rock jasmine monkeyflower hybrid

The botanists’ ultimate goal is to secure endangered or rare species designations for the most threatened plants. That can lay the foundation to legally force land managers to make accommodations for threatened species.

Hope you can enjoy what’s emerging in your own naturesphere today, and may you be pleasantly surprised.

As always, Free Range is Monday’s free chat, make it a good one.

Who should be the next senator from California?