Field Journal #3 – Mt. Burdell

Location: 315 ft above sea level | 38.129, -122.604 | Mt. Burdell Hike/Trail, Novato, CA

The location was north of the suburban/urban city Novato and found in the hills in the area. The day was cold for nothern California weather and clouds threatened to rain. Eventually it did lightly rain for 10 minutes, but we trekked on. Area was mainly open fields with major hills and many oak trees dotted throughout. Area was on the edge of the elevated area and the view of the nearby city was ever-present. A lot of wind gets carried throughout the hiking area. Other than grasses, spp of interest were sparse and far between for the most part.

Toxicoscordion fremontii | Mountain Deathcamus

Habit: Herbaceous, one straight growth from basal structures
Leaf: Monocot typical shoot-like structure, parallel venation, linear lanceolate, entire, simple
Repro: Inflorescence of more than 5 flowers, parts of 5, dioecious, perfect flowers, raceme, head-like, capitula
Location: In the middle of a field, away from path, sparse distribution even amongst the clusters, no shade

Taraxia ovata | Sun Cup

Habit: Herbaceous, very low to the ground
Leaf: Elliptic, wavy, partially lobed, pinnate venation, simple
Repro: 4 petals, 8 stamen, brassicaceae mimic, cup-like structure,
Location: Immediately off the path, no shade, heavy sunlight and  traffic

Sanicula bipinnatifida | Purple Sanicle

Habit: Herbaceous, small, low to the ground
Leaf: Simple, lobed to dissected, pinnate venation, broadly acute,
Repro: Fused bracts, capitula, head-like, many flowers in one inflorescence, umbel panicle, many observable stamen,
Location: Partly inward towards the field, amongst other herbs, strong sunlight, competition for light

The hike began at the entrance of the trail off a residential street and looped around the edge of the reserve and back through the same path. Arrived around 1:30 pm and we left around 4:15. As mentioned previously, the weather was colder with winds and clouds around before a light rain. Chaparral-like biome with very sparse spp that were not poecieae.

Continue onto Veterans Blvd
Keep left at the fork and merge onto US-101 N
Follow US-101 N to Atherton Ave in Novato. Take exit 463 from US-101 N
Merge onto US-101 N
Take exit 463 for Atherton Ave toward San Marin Dr
Take San Marin Dr to San Andreas Dr
Use the right lane to turn left onto Atherton Ave
Continue onto San Marin Dr
Turn right onto San Andreas Dr
Continue straight to stay on San Andreas Dr

Field Journal #2 – Presidio

Location: 160 ft above sea level  |  37.798, -122.480  |  Presidio and Batteries to Bluffs Trail, North San Francisco

The hike began at Immigrant Point, a vista of the area with the view shown above. A coastal chaparral found in the northern edges of San Francisco. Many small trails are found throughout with major highways cutting through the area. Was previously military owned space with heavy non-native species introductions but now reclaimed and aided by restoration services for native species introductions. A few native species are described here:



Ceanothus thyrsiflorus | Blueblossom

Habit: Shrub to subshrub
Leaf: Alternate, simple, slightly denticulate, pinnate/reticulate venation with tertiary venation, apical buds, acutely obtuse, elliptical, glaborous, slightly revolute
Repro: True inflorescence, panicle, diecious, urn shape blooms to 2-lipped like corollas, raceme, apical buds
Location: Immediately off the path, grew by the open areas in sunlight

Solanum douglasii | White Nightshade

Habit: Herbaceous, low to ground, weed like
Leaf: Oblique, entire, simple, pinnate venation, glaborous, alternate, semi-lobed and crenate
Repro: Fused calyx/corolla structure with 5 stepal points, reflexed, anther covers ovary,
Location: On path steps, in part shade, hit by heavy sun, cluster and compact

Rubus ursinus | California blackberry

Habit: Shrub to subshrub, thorns, low to ground
Leaf: Palmately compound, dentate to denticulate, spotted and unspotted, pinnate venation with tertiary venation, alternate
Repro: 5 petals, many stamen, apex buds, diecious
Location: Immediately off the path, in plain sunlight, heavy sunlight, compact

Our hike was down a trail towards the beach and the back up steps place for tourism. Along the way we crossed a street which can serve as an isolating barrier for various species but volunteers were seen to be preferentially planting native species in several areas. We made a number of off trail observations and treks to get a better feel for the area and even enjoyed a bit of time right at the edge of the water. The day was warm and sunny with a mild breeze. We arrived around 1:15 pm latest and left around 4 pm. Coastal chaparrals seem quite similar to common Southern California chaparrals in terms of floral morphologies but with a lot more green plants. Still they seem to remain close to the ground and have simple medium sized leaves which makes sense for the environment. Species are growing in the typical California rock outcropping soils which are harsh and are therefore specialized for slow resilient growth.

Take Turk St to 4th Ave
Head west on Turk St toward Beaumont Ave
Continue onto Balboa St
Continue on 4th Ave. Take Lake St to Washington Blvd
Turn right onto 4th Ave
Turn left onto Lake St
Turn right onto 14th Ave
14th Ave turns left and becomes Wedemeyer St
Continue onto Battery Caulfield Rd
Turn left onto Washington Blvd

Field Journal #1 — Baltimore Canyon

Baltimore Canyon contained many small trails off a fire road which went from a mountainous terrain with cleared niches, down to a riparian terrain. Many of the species observed were found throughout our trek intermingled with various non-native spp. Few deciduous spp. were observed and many plants were still green with a majority of them not in a blooming season.

Polystichum munitum | Western sword fern

Habit: Shrub-like
Leaf: Compound, alternate, dentate/denticulate, even 1-pinnate pinna, narrow acute parallel, truncated fused
Repro: Scora/indusium, two lines per pinnule underside
Location: Immediately off the path, grew fronds in clusters by the open/clear areas in shade

Acacia melanoxylon | Blackwood acacia

Habit: Shrub, small tree, evergreen
Leaf: Alternate, entire, narrowly acute, parralel, elliptic,
Repro: Axillary buds, inflorescence full umbel, many small flowers,
Location: Immediately off path, in open/clear areas, exposed to frequent light

Scoliopus bigelovii | Slink pod

Habit: Herbaceous, small bud like, ground proximal
Leaf: Alternate, bud-like structure, no observable stem, entire, parallel, broadly acute, spotted,
Repro: Dioecious, special stems for seeds (grow down into soil), rotate bell-shaped, tepals, groups of 3
Location: Immediately off path, close to ground, in semi shaded areas, amongst detritus