Sunday, October 26, 2008

Coyote Brush

Behind and beside me, as I took yesterday's photo of the valley, were these Coyote Brush plants throwing off a healthy crop of fluffy seeds. It is one of the many "pioneer" plants that may take root on newly exposed earth after a mudslide, or on a roadside cut into a steep slope like this one on the Willits-Hearst Road. In addition to catching the wind to fall where they may, I can just imagine a deer mouse tucking some of this fluff into a nook or cranny for a clean, soft night's sleep.


Saretta said...

It does look fluffy and soft! How high up were you when you took that first photo and why is it so orange (if you don't mind my asking)?

Have a told you that I'm impressed by your writing recently?

Sarah said...

Hi Dear Elaine,
Thank you for the sweet.You made me so Happy ;)

Anonymous said...

Is that brush like sage brush? Interest post.

My Halloween memories and Grandma C's Noodle Recipe

Susie of Arabia said...

Such fluffy blossoms!

Kris McCracken said...

Why are they called “coyote bush”?

More importantly, are there any real life coyotes around your parts (not including Peter Coyote)?

Ron Bloomquist said...

Hey! We got the same coyote brush here in Fort Bragg along the Haul Road. I posted about it here:

USelaine said...

Saretta - Hmm. I didn't have one of those GPS devices, but the valley floor is about 1300 feet above sea level. And I guess I was 200-300 higher than that for these pictures (and yesterday's). The lowering sunlight probably added a little of the warm tone to both images here (and yesterday's), but the orange actually comes from all the iron oxide (rust) in the earth of this part of the hills. Broad swathes of geologic layers might be this color, but it's not typical of most places locally. I guess that's why it caught my eye.

And, thanks!

Sara - You are a sweetheart!

Abraham - It inhabits similar areas as sagebrush. It gets called both "bush" and "brush", and either is correct.

Susie - These are actually the seedheads that follow the blossoms of spring, sort of like bundled up dandelion seedheads. If you enlarge the second photo by clicking on it, you can see one of the seeds pulled free. They were impressive to see so densely covering the plant. Fluffy indeed!

Kris - I don't know why they are called that. There must be coyotes around, but they are pretty nocturnal and widely spaced. Other locals may comment here about whether they ever hear them. The water supply reservoir down near Ukiah inundated a place called Coyote Valley, so they definitely have been here historically. I have only ever seen one in this county. I was pulling into the parking area at my mom's isolated property over nearer to the coast, about twenty years ago, and a coyote stepped from behind the house while I was still in the car. He looked at me, then rambled off, never to be seen again. It was not a dog, definitely a coyote. It's cool to see one that close. As you apparently know, Peter Coyote is a northern Californian, but I've never spotted him at my mom's, or anywhere else.

Ron - I saw your coyote brush! I hope people here will link through to your gorgeous photo blog!

My, how I do go on! Thanks for your interest, everyone.

Petrea Burchard said...

Really nice shots. And you SHOULD go on, because you go on so well.

Dina said...

Yes yes, please go on, cuz I like your words as much as I do your pics.
I can't get over that color of the earth!

Kym said...

That was a beautiful photo of the coyote bush on a red hillside. The colors leap out of the computer!