Thursday, August 21, 2008

Torrey Pines Finale

This was pretty interesting. Do you see those black things hanging down from the dead tree? Those are beetle traps for the pine beetle. Those nasty creatures have been decimating pine trees in forests all throughout California, including our precious California Redwoods. They've even gone outside California to chew their way through other parts of the Pacific Northwest. These traps have some type of nectar in them that attracts the beetles to them. The beetles crawl inside the traps and they can't get out. These traps were put up because the beetles were destroying many of these rare Torrey Pine trees and the traps seem to be effective. You can see them in a few places throughout the park.

This tree could very well have been the victim of the pine beetle at some point. I thought it looked like a "halloween tree". You know; spooky and scarey.

California buckwheat.
Look closely and you will see a vine going across the picture with dried leaves on it running from the plant on the right to the cactus on the left. This vine is from a wild cucumber plant (aka the "manroot"). The wild cucumber plant has an enormous tuber root (a root that is tube shaped). From what I understand, the root is why it is called a "manroot"; simply because it is so large such as the size of a small person. I saw a couple of the roots (wish I'd taken pictures!) and they were huge and weighed more than I could move!

The beginnings of a Torrey Pine cone.

This grove of Torrey Pines stand on a bluff above the ocean. They get constant breezes and wind blowing in off the water which makes the tree grow towards the east, the way the wind is blowing.

This band of pines is barren on the west facing side where the wind is constantly hitting them. The east facing side is usually green and looks no worse for wear.

Our guide called this pretty little flower "three spots" because it has 3 purple spots on it's white leaves, one on each of 3 petals.

Sand Verbena

Wild aster. My favorite on this trip.

No, this isn't a felled tree. This is what the power of the wind over the years does to a healthy Torrey Pine. The wind has pushed it so that it now grows horizontally.

And finally, the view from Torrey Pines going past La Jolla.

Thank you for spending some time with me and sharing my trip to Torrey Pines State Reserve in Torrey Pines, CA.

Happy Gardening!

Independent Garden Consultant
The Happy Gardener

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