Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dry Winter

Weather: Less than a quarter inch of snow; last snow 2/22/13; 11:38 hours of daylight today.

What’s green: Few rose stems; juniper, pine, and other evergreens; yucca, grape hyacinth, garlic, gypsum phacelia leaves.

What’s red: Cholla; apple, apricot, sandbar willow branches; Madonna lily leaves.

What’s grey or blue: Winterfat leaves.

What’s yellow: Globe and weeping willow branches.

What’s blooming inside: Zonal geraniums, aptenia, petunia.

Animal sightings: There’s apparently one (or maybe more) flock of birds wintering along the river. Whenever it snows, they show up in my yard. The first time I could see they were robins. This Thursday, I couldn’t see them as well.

Weekly update:  Three storm alerts ago, I was standing in line in the post office where I overheard the following conversation:

Post master: How you doing?
Small older lady: I’m waiting for the snow.

The post master was taken aback. It was Thursday. Rain was forecast for the weekend. No snow, unless you lived at very high elevations.

At the time, I wondered how she had gotten so confused.  What television station or neighbor had garbled the forecast so badly?

But, if I were absolutely honest, I would admit I have done nothing since the first of the year but wait for the snow. Every time a storm is forecast, I turn to the NOAA website each time it clouds over here to watch the Southern Rockies radar projection of cloud movement. And every time, just as the clouds near the southeast corner of Rio Arriba county, they vaporize.

I looked with envy. One time it snowed all day in Santa Fé. Other times, roads were bad around Los Alamos. All we’ve had since New Year’s hasn’t amounted to half an inch. I felt like Job imploring, why not here Lord?

A few days before the overheard conversation, when the rain was first forecast, I walked to the far arroyo to see how much snow had survived. The edges of the arroyo water paths were sharply cut, I suppose by water flowing through the arroyo. The embedded gravels were exposed.

I walked out again just after the rain stopped. The edges had been eroded into a miniature range of mountains by the water. The gravel had been washed onto the arroyo bottom. Truck tracks indicated how much the level has changed since the ranch owners last graded their road.

I went out yesterday after our flurries on Friday. The flood plain, which had been wet after the rain, was beach sand with wind patterns carved in the surface.

The water edge before the road crossing was reduced to a smooth slope.

Earlier this week, I drove up beyond Chimayó to see the levels in Santa Cruz lake, the reservoir that will feed irrigation for the valley this spring and summer. I wanted to know if I was imagining bad conditions or if they were widespread.

The water level wasn’t as low as I’d expected: less than two feet lower at the dam edge than last year.

Things looked much worse in the area where fishermen launch their boats. Sandbar willow was colonizing the shore.

Last year, no unplanned vegetation broke through the water’s surface. I don’t know if the willows come back every summer and the National Park’s Service keeps them cut down, or if they were new.

The one thing the trip confirmed. It’s colder this year. Last year I went up February 14; this year on the 21st. Last year, the lake was blue and some snow remained in the shadows of the far hills. This year, ice was scattered on the surface.

As I said it snowed parts of Thursday and Friday. The east facing Jémez were white, but yesterday the snow was already disappearing. It doesn’t look like enough new moisture to help the areas destroyed by the Las Conchas fire of 2011.

Ridges on the west facing Sangre de Cristo were white, whiter than they’ve been this year. They suddenly loomed like clouds when I was walking out the of the arroyo yesterday and reached a level where they could be seen in a break in the badlands.

Maybe some snow melt will reach the lake, and eventually the valley.

When I first heard that woman, I wondered about a life that was reduced to fretting about a forecast storm for three days of excitement. But now I realize, it’s a much more existential situation here in the valley. Waiting for the snow is the same as waiting for Godot.

1. Santa Cruz lake, 21 February 2013; sandbar willow and dead weeds exposed; ice in background on lake.

2. Flock of birds temporarily escaping the river banks, 21 February 2013.

3. Water path edge carved in far arroyo bottom, 21 January 2013. Edge straight, embedded gravels exposed. Elevation changed since they last graded the ranch road.

4. Water path edge after rain, 27 January 2013. Edge eroded, gravel washed into the arroyo floor.

5. Flood plain, 23 February 2013. This is the same section shown in the posting for February 3.

6. Water path this week, 23 February 2013. Edge sanded smooth.

7. Santa Cruz lake at dam edge, 21 February 2013. Some ice in water.

8. Santa Cruz lake at dame edge, 14 February 2012. Some snow visible in far slope.

9. Santa Cruz lake near boat landing, 21 February 2013.

10. Santa Cruz lake near boat landing, 14 February 2012.

11. Jémez from the ranch road, 23 February 2013.

12. Sangre de Cristo from the ranch road, 23 February 2013.

13. Rio Quemado, one river that enters Santa Cruz lake through the damned canyon, 21 February 2012 when snow and water were plentiful.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

South Carolina 9: DNA Studies

When South Carolina congressmen became more vociferous about the supposedly false theories of modern science, I began to wonder how Charleston had ever produced the important innovations in botany that underlay its lifestyle: the selection of new types of rice and roses. Periodically, I’ll be publishing the result of my inquiries into the lives of two innovative growers, Hezekiah Maham (rice) and John Champneys (roses). Previous entries can be found under “South Carolina” in the index at the right.

This entry looks at the mechanics of botanical change. Last week’s entry defined the species name. The photographs are of another mystery plant.

Weather: Maybe a quarter inch of snow Monday night, didn’t survive long the next day; 11:19 hours of daylight today.

What’s still green: Few rose stems; juniper, pine, and other evergreens; yucca, Madonna lily, grape hyacinth leaves.

What’s red: Cholla; apple, apricot, sandbar willow branches.

What’s grey or blue: Winterfat, golden hairy aster leaves.

What’s yellow: Globe willow branches; weeping willow branches much more yellow.

What’s blooming inside: Zonal geraniums, aptenia.

Animal sightings: Small brown birds.

Weekly update: Gregor Mendel was doing his pea inheritance experiments at the same time Darwin was developing the theory of natural selection, but the monk’s work was not publicized until 1900.

Breeders already had enough experience with the variability of hybrids to recognize the statistical patterns he described, that people with blue eyes inherit their eye color from both parents because the blue allele is recessive, and that crossing a red and white pea would produce a red or white flower 25% of the time, and a pink the rest.

Rose growers confirmed his work, especially when they took a hybrid and backcrossed it with one of its parents. It’s easy for them to say Champneys Pink Cluster introduced a recessive gene for reblooming because their efforts produced results that confirmed their expectations.

In 1953, Francis Crick and James Watson published their work on the structure of DNA and scientists began using sophisticated instruments to determine exactly where each gene resided, and what each controlled.

Results for rice specialists have not been as satisfying as those for roses. Dormancy, that single domestication event posited by earlier researchers, was no longer simple because dormancy isn’t a physical trait like color, but either results from the structure of the outer layer of the seed or from the embryo. Its appearance isn’t tied to a single gene, but to areas of DNA that exists on several chromosomes.

A Chinese team found five quantitative trait loci have been identified on five chromosomes, and that dormancy increased in only four cases when they introduced an allele from a highly dormant indica cultivar. They learned the more genes they altered, the greater the dormancy.

A group in Korea found similar complexity when they looked at the literature on shattering, another trait hypothesized to have been central to domestication. The ability for the seed to separate easily at maturity without breaking is the consequence of hormonal processes that create a hardened abscission layer on the pedicel stem that holds the seed to the head.

They found reports that four alleles on four of rice’s twelve chromosomes have been linked to shattering, of which two are involved with the creation of the abscission layer. They also found six broader quantitative trait loci had been identified on six chromosomes.

The group created a shattering mutation by treating a non-shattering japonica variety with N-methyl-N-nitrosourea, then crossed it with five cultivars, including its parent. The results suggested the recessive sh-h gene on chromosome 7 was responsible for shattering. They noted that area was closely linked to the Rc location that controls red hull color and the qSDs-7-1 experimentally tied to dormancy.

The level of amylose, a form of starch, is used to differentiate sticky japonica from fluffy indica rices. However, the tropical japonica javanica falls between the two.

In 1983, researchers for the Carnegie Institution discovered the Wx or waxy gene controlled amylose content in maize pollen and kernels. The gene has since been found in wheat, barley, millet and rice. In rice, the Wxa allele is associated with dryland indica and Wxb is found with wetland japonica.

However, a group of Japanese scientists found both existed in the two subspecies and that Wxb predominates. The distinction between the two occurs during the encoding process when a nucleotide that follows the pattern AGGT in nirvana and rufipogon mutates to AGTT.

In other words, the causative agent isn’t the genetic allele, but something working on that allele during reproduction. Further, the change isn’t permanent, but can revert in the next generation. Another Japanese team found the same kind of change in the African glaberrima rice came from deleting and inserting a new unit in the nucleotide sequence, rather than substituting a T for a G.

Scientists now know a great deal more about rice, but without specimens with known provenance, they can’t say where Hezekiah Maham or John Joshua Ward got his seed. Richard Porcher has found the plats to Maham’s plantation and hopes to unearth some grains. Depending on the results, geneticists may be able to guess if Ward’s Carolina Gold was the direct, but mutant, offspring of Ward, or like the Blush Noisette, has another as yet unidentified parent that blew in from another field.

Researchers have, however, done something more extraordinary, unintentionally duplicated the daily experience of planters who were constantly surprised when their gold hulled rice turned white, or their white turned red. The very randomness of such traits forced them to become better observers, and thus more open to an explanation like that provided by Darwin when it became available.

Carolina Gold Rice Foundation. “Searching the Origins of Carolina Gold,” The Rice Paper November 2009.

Ji, Hyeon-So, Sang-Ho Chu, Wenzhu Jiang, Young-Il Cho, Jang-Ho Hahn, Moo-Young Eun, Susan R. McCouch, and Hee-Jong Koh. “Characterization and Mapping of a Shattering Mutant in Rice That Corresponds to a Block of Domestication Genes,” Genetics 173: 995–1005:2006.

Shure, M., SR Wessler, N. Federoff. “Molecular Identification and Isolation of the Waxy Locus in Maize,” Cell 35:225-233, 1983.

Umeda M, H. Ohtsubo, and E. Ohtsubo. “Diversification of the Rice Waxy Gene by Insertion of Mobile DNA Elements into Introns,” The Japanese Journal of Genetics 66:569-86:1991.

Wan, J. M., L. Jiang, J.Y. Tang, C.M. Wang, M.Y. Hou, W. Jing and L.X. Zhang. “Genetic Dissection of the Seed Dormancy Trait in Cultivated Rice (Oryza sativa L.),” Plant Science 170:786-792:2006.

Yamanaka, Shinsuke, Ikuo Nakamura, Kazuo N. Watanabe, and Yo-Ichiro Sato. “Identification of SNPs in the Waxy Gene among Glutinous Rice Cultivars and Their Evolutionary Significance during the Domestication Process,” Theoretical and Applied Genetics 108:1200-124:2004.

1. A new, white-flowered nightshade appeared in my drive this summer. It either came in the gravel from northern Rio Arriba County, or in the tires of the back hoe that recently had been in the Four Corners area and southern Colorado. 25 August 2012. I now believe it is a Carolina Nettle, Solanum Carolinense

2. The leaves differ from the annual that showed in 2006 near my newly installed, cedar wood fence. That was probably Solanum triflorum. 13 August 2006.

3. This is probably some member of the Black Nightshade complex. Complex means botanists aren’t willing to commit themselves. A number of species names have been given, and they may all be variations on the same plant, or may be different. The one thing they agree is the berries are black. The alternative plant has red berries. 3 February 2013.

4. I don’t know if these berries were once black and faded with the snow, or if the weather turned cold before they could fully mature. I don’t look at every weed every day. 14 December 2012.

5. Blooming plant, 1 September 2012,

6. Closer view of flowers, 1 September 2012.

7. Berries forming, 30 September 2012.

8. Plant yesterday, 16 February 2012.

9. Closer vew of plant yesterday, 16 February 2012.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

South Carolina 8: Genetics

When South Carolina congressmen became more vociferous about the supposedly false theories of modern science, I began to wonder how Charleston had ever produced the important innovations in botany that underlay its lifestyle: the selection of new types of rice and roses. Periodically, I’ll be publishing the result of my inquiries into the lives of two innovative growers, Hezekiah Maham (rice) and John Champneys (roses). Previous entries can be found under “South Carolina” in the index at the right.

This entry continues looking at the culture’s beliefs about the origins of its plants.

Weather: Some days warmer for a few hours, but cold before noon; last rain 1/28/13; 11:01 hours of daylight today.

The ruthless winds returned yesterday. First they suck up the moisture, then they remove the newly dried dirt and expose more moist ground to be raided. Los Alamos and Santa Fé have been getting snow showers, but we’ve only had clouds.

What’s still green: Few rose stems; juniper, pine, and other evergreens; yucca, Madonna lily, grape hyacinth leaves.

What’s red: Cholla; apple, apricot, sandbar willow branches.

What’s grey or blue: Winterfat, golden hairy aster leaves.

What’s yellow: Globe and weeping willow branches.

What’s blooming inside: Zonal geraniums, aptenia.

Animal sightings: Small brown birds.

Weekly update: The facts about Carolina Gold rice and Champneys Pink Cluster rose are sparse. However, because each was important, others have created narratives that fit their beliefs. Not surprisingly those mythic explanations have changed with circumstances to fit our changing expectations for appropriate heroes.

Originally, people gave credit to John Champneys for the hybrid pink rose, but today people prefer Philippe Noisette. That’s not because of Champneys’ Tory leanings, which are largely unknown, but because Noisette married a mulatto in Haiti and lived openly with her and their six children in Charleston.

Earlier, people accepted the view that Hezekiah Maham’s rice, and that of early South Carolina, came from Madagascar. More recently, some scholars, especially Judith Carney, have taken the facts that the early methods for milling and winnowing rice came from Africa and that many of the slaves imported in the years when Henry Laurens was active in the trade came from the rice growing regions of west Africa, to suggest that not only was seed rice imported from Africa, but the entire agricultural tool kit, including irrigation methods, was introduced by Blacks in exchange for adoption of an easier task system of labor.

Few gardeners or farmers care about the origins of their plants, except as amusing trivia. However, the facts and the way they are interpreted can be important social indicators. The differences and similarities in the way two disparate plants are treated may go farther to reveal underlying cultural patterns.

The only facts we tend to accept today come from genetics. Recently, biologists at Florida Southern College have confirmed that all the DNA found in fragment bands in Champneys Pink Cluster is found in Parson’s Pink and existing musk roses. They also confirmed that only half the DNA found in Blush Noisette is shared with Champneys Pink Cluster, and the rest is from some unknown source. They made no attempt to determine which was the pollen and which the seed parent for Champneys’ rose.

Genetic interpretations of the origin of rice are more controversial, because honor is involved. Ya-Long Guo and Song Ge believe the rice genus, Oryza, diverged within the grass family about 15 million years ago during the Miocene and the African varieties separated from the Asian about 7 million years ago.

The closest relative of modern rice, Oryza sativa, is rufipogon, itself dervied from nivara, while the nearest species to domesticated African rice, glaberrima is barthii. Nivara and barthii share a common ancestor. All are considered be part of the same AA genome, distinct from five other groups of modern rice.

The Asian rice divided into two subspecies, wetland japonica and dryland indica, as a result of domestication and the subsequent movement of rice eaters into new habitats. Some, looking at the genetics, argue the one is derived from the other. Others, looking at the archaeological record, believe they resulted from separate events that occurred south of the Himalayas, one in India, Myanmar or Thailand, the other in southern China or Vietnam.

As rice moved from China through Korea to Japan and the Philippines, then southeast to Sulawesi, Borneo, Java, and Sumatra, another, more tropical, subspecies emerged, javanica. This was the one taken to Madagascar. Linguists have determined current Malagasy is closest to the Maanyan language of Borneo, while geneticists have found the DNA of modern residents owes its Asian component to Borneo.

Medieval trade with Arabs on Kilwa island, who had contact through Aden with Gujuart, may have first introduced dryland rice from India. As trade and contacts across the Indian Ocean expanded after Europeans appeared, more ways were opened for rice imports.

In 1986, Koji Tanaka discovered javanica is still grown on the southeast coast of Madagascar where it’s extracted by foot, and milled with a mortar and pestle. In the uplands and west, indica dominates and animals are used to separate the rice. The northeast grows javanica and uses animal labor.

Notes: Javanica is now treated as a subspecies of japonica.

Burney, David. “Finding the Connections between Paleoecology, Ethnobotany and Conservation in Madagascar,” Ethnobotany Research and Applications 3:385-389:2005.

Carney, Judith. Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas, 2001.

Garlake, Peter. The Kingdoms of Africa, 1978.

Guo, Ya-Long and Song Ge. “Molecular Phylogeny of Oryzeae (Poaceae) Based on DNA Sequences from Chloroplast, Mitochondrial, and Nuclear Genomes,” American Journal of Botany 92:1548-1558:2005.

Hurles, Matthew E., Bryan C. Sykes, Mark A. Jobling, and Peter Forster. “The Dual Origin of the Malagasy in Island Southeast Asia and East Africa: Evidence from Maternal and Paternal Lineages,” The American Journal of Human Genetics 76:894-901:2005.

Joshi, S. P., V. S. Gupta, R. K. Aggarwal, P. K. Ranjekar, and D. S. Brar. “Genetic Diversity and Phylogenetic Relationship as Revealed by Inter Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) Polymorphism in the Genus Oryza,” Theoretical and Applied Genetics 100:1311-1320:2000.

Tanaka, Koji. “Rice and Rice Culture in Madagascar,” Tonan Ajia Kenkyu 26:367-393:1989.

_____ “Malayan Cultivated Rice and Its Expansion - Part Three,” Agricultural Archaeology 97-107:1997.

1. Tis the season for going through the summer’s pictures to try to identify the unknowns. For years, I thought Green Flower was in the morning glory family, with its five petals joined into a plate. I found nothing. Flower taken 7 September 2008.

2. One day this summer when I was turning every page of Geyata Ajilvsgi’s Wildflowers of Texas, I saw pictures of False Nightshade that had similar flowers, but very dissimilar leaves. This plant has long, narrow, dark green leaves. Leaves taken 2 October 2011.

3. Sometimes they rise a bit and show wavy edges and a backward arch. Leaves taken 26 July 2008.

4. The Solanaceae connection isn’t obvious, despite those occasional leaves. It center doesn’t protrude and the petals are not pinned back like those of tomatoes. Flower taken 6 June 2011.

5. At least one plant has been growing in the gravel of my drive since 1997. Sometimes there were more, but usually only two or three. The leaves would spread into low, round masses, but would not leave the drive and would not accept transplanting.

This year, after I had work done on the drive, and more gravel delivered, the plants in the drive were larger. They also spread down the bank and provided ground cover for some annuals. I don’t know it they are the seed from the same plants, or if new seed was brought in from the north. Plants filling the spaces between larkspur, juniper, Shirley and California poppies, 13 August 2012.

6. The man doing the backhoe work said the plants were common in his area, but he had no name for then. They're just one of those things that grow, that serve no obvious purpose, but aren’t dangerous enough to attack. Plants around blue-gray California poppy, 10 November 2012.

7. I should have known they weren’t a morning glory. They’re cold hearty. After temperatures fell to 15 in mid-November, the leaves disappeared, but the green stems remained. It was only after the snow of mid-December, that everything died. Plant with cottonwood leaves, 21 December 2012.

8. So this week, I followed Ajilvsgi’s lead, and looked up Chamaesaracha in E. O. Wooton and Paul C. Standley’s Flora of New Mexico. It has no pictures and useless descriptions, but did list two species that grow in New Mexico. This is coronopus, even though the USDA doesn’t show it growing in Rio Arriba county. Flower buds, 24 April 2011.

9. The plant has sticky hairs, which is why the pictures often show more dirt than detail. The perennial has some kind of berry which has been used by the Hopi and Navajo, but I’ve never seen one. The common name, Green Leaf Five-eyes, is no more useful than the Green Flower I’ve called it for years, when I protected it. I’ll probably still call it that, at least to myself, and hope it comes back along the bare drive bank. It is one of those plants that may be insignificant, but give pleasure all the same. Plant and flowers, 11 August 2006.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Winter Depredations

Weather: Warmer morning and afternoon temperatures; last rain 1/28/13; 10:34 hours of daylight today.

What’s still green: Few rose stems; juniper, pine, and other evergreens; yucca, Madonna lily, some moss. Grape hyacinth leaves green after the snow disappeared.

What’s red: Cholla; apple, apricot, sandbar willow branches even redder.

What’s grey or blue: Winterfat, golden hairy aster leaves. Snow-in-summer leaves desiccated in the past week.

What’s yellow: Globe and weeping willow branches.

What’s blooming inside: Zonal geraniums, aptenia.

Animal sightings: Small brown birds.

Weekly update: Four seasons is a nice name for a restaurant, but it’s not the best summary of Española weather.

When I was a child in Michigan, the upper-class clothing store knew better. In January, after the white sales, the windows were filled with bathing suits. The manager was not anticipating Spring break. These were for customers heading to Florida. In those days, the winter of Sarasota and Palm Beach followed the winter of Christmas.

My almanac puts it differently. It has a generic table of day lengths by date with translation codes for specific areas. These formulae are related to the length of the sun’s rays breaking over the edge of the sphere. This year, the winter of the solstice ran from November 22 to January 18.

We’re now in the killing times, when the worst of the cold is past, but the sun is merciless. Last Sunday, I noticed it drying trees after the previous day’s misty rain. The light shone on one side of the branches, like it does over the moon. The difference between dark and light was more pronounced than usual, because the sun had dried one side more than the other.

I thought. So this is what killed my neighbor’s globe willows. Technically it was sun scald that occurs when the sun heats the outer part of the tree, then cools the trapped moisture inside in the evening. But the sun glinting off the black locust was as close as I’ll ever come to seeing the sun’s differential treatment.

Most trees lost their leaves months ago. Now, the shorter plants are losing theirs. When I walked to the prairie Sunday, I passed the purple coneflowers leaning over the garage walk I’d photographed before. Leaves had fallen on the blocks, that weren’t there the day before.

They were gone yesterday, blown somewhere.

The stickleafs now are barren candelabrum with sockets of brass and tin.

The leaves of summer have shriveled and fallen.

When I was walking, the prairie ground was soft underfoot. At first I thought it was moisture that had sunk into the dry upper layer of soil. Then I looked. Those leaves are breaking down. Dried grasses are disintegrating.

Some of the shortest blades are some annual monsoon grass that first appeared in barren areas after the Las Conchas fire. They sprouted and died within a month. Last summer it did the same. Now, it’s a carpet protecting the soil.

Last summer’s monsoons scoured the far arroyo bottom, breaking off small plants and sending them down stream toward the Rio Grande. The low branches of chamisa on their islands in the water path had been able to hold some of their understory. Sunday, they looked like hens with their chicks pulled under for protection.

The tamarix toward the left bank had been less lucky. Its ground had been washed clean. But now, it’s dropped the summer’s needles and begun rebuilding its nest.

On the other side of the arroyo, where no trees and few shrubs have taken root, the ground was nearly bare last Sunday. Unlike the chamisa and tamarix, which are washed by currents in the arroyo, plants on the right bank are buffeted by water washing down from the bank.

There, only short grasses have braved the flood plain.

Winter isn’t just breaking up the remains of plants. It’s still working on evicting the gravels that settled during the glaciers.

Clouds stayed for a few days after the rain, so the ground has remained damp. When the sun breaks through, afternoon temperatures are way above freezing. In the past few days, seed pods have begun to split open and fall into the litter below.

When the afternoons warmed, I didn’t split my skin, but I did exchange my Shetland wool sweaters for the ones made from lighter-weight lambs wool. My view of weather is still conditioned by that department store. Spring woolens, as I was taught by my mother, come with the next change in winter.

Notes: Thomas, Robert T. The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 2013.

1. Tansy head, 2 February 2013. The leaves have shriveled, but not fallen.

2. Bush pea pods on the left bank of the far arroyo, 27 January 2013. The leaves have shriveled, and most have fallen. Both pods and leaves are accumulating below.

3. Black locust tree in the sun, 27 January 2013. Bradford pear in background.

4. Fallen purple coneflower leaves and Silver King artemisia branches, 27 January 2013.

5. Stickleaf in far arroyo bottom, 3 February 2013. Most of the leaves have fallen, leaving stem and empty seed pods.

6. Stickleaf last summer, 25 August 2012. The closed seed pods rose above nests of leaves.

7. Remains of short, annual monsoon grass in barren area of the prairie, 27 January 2013.

8. Chamisa on island in water path of far arroyo, 3 February 2013. Its lower branches have kept the fallen seed heads and other litter from washing away.

9. Tamarix needles accumulating under a tree on the left side of the far arroyo bottom, 27 January 2013.

10. Right bank of the far arroyo after the rain, 27 January 2013.

11. Close up of flood plain with stubs of several grass species between the gray remains of dead bunch grasses, 17 January 2013.

12. Catalpa pod opening, 2 February 2013. The one to the left is beginning to open.

13. Arroyo ground under bush pea pod, 27 January 2013.

14. Fallen baptisia pods, 2 February 2013.