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Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

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Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby peterb » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:15 pm

Had a great if somewhat insane three day trip this past weekend. Finally found Escobaria missouriensis navajoensis south of Woodruff after a couple hours of searching and saw Sclero mesae-verdae in habitat for the first time. Saw some amazing other stuff from Holbrook to Shiprock, across northern AZ through House Rock to Kanab UT and back down to home. Another first was finding Escobaria missouriensis marstonii, tiny plants mostly submerged, invisible except for flowers. Also found some flowering peeblesianus fickeisenii, some would have been invisible otherwise.

Holbrook to Shiprock:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... bc5974ff0e

Shiprock to Fredonia:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 099620657d

Fredonia to home:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 28e33c5af8

hope you enjoy the photos.

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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby Harriet » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:37 pm

The plants and flowers are, as always, amazing... but the gas tank art was pretty awesome too! I hope that artist keeps it up ... but maybe not on gas tanks ...
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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby Tony » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:43 pm

Great Trip, thanks for shareing Peterb! :)
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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby peterb » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:07 pm

Thanks for enjoying it along with me. It's lonely out there. The whole area from northern AZ across to the Four Corners is desolate, windy, vast, majestic and makes one feel tiny indeed. Like a tiny little cactus, haha.

For fun, I put together a list of all the stuff I saw over the three days, in order of time:

Pediocactus peeblesianus
Escobaria missouriensis navajoensis
Opuntia debreczyi
Echinocereus fendleri
Sclerocactus whipplei
Sclerocactus parviflorus
Sclerocactus mesae-verdae
Sclerocactus species
Pediocactus peeblesianus fickeisenii
Echinocereus mojavensis
Opuntia basilaris longiareiolata (from the car)
Echinocereus engelmannii variegatus
Pediocactus bradyi
Sclerocactus sileri
Pediocactus paradinei
Pediocactus sileri
Escobaria missouriensis marstonii

The Navajoan Desert (if one can even accurately use that term) has incredible speciation, somewhat similar to parts of the Chihuahuan. What's amazing is the short distance between dramatically different plants, such as the relatively few miles between Pediocactus bradyi and Pediocactus paradinei, growing in dramatically different habitat. The geographically isolating features and microclimates have given rise to a lot of variety over a very small area.

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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby Andy_CT » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:56 pm

Your best habitat photos yet!
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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby daiv » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:28 pm

All of it is first rate delicacy for cactus loving eyes. I especially like that little Opuntia
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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby Peterthecactusguy » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:00 pm

lots a neat plants on that trip. Loved the Opuntia nicholii but the rest of the plants were amazing! :)
Here's to you, all you insidious creatures of green..er I mean cacti.
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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby peterb » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:27 am

Yes, O. nicholii is a beauty! and Opuntia debreczyi is very cool also, not sure if it is a valid taxon or not, but a cool plant.

GThe personal high points for me were *finally* finding navajoensis (I have been to the site maybe 7 times and spent 14 hours or so looking), seeing mesae-verdae in habitat and finding fickeisenii in flower. And the incredible chicken chimichanga at Nedra's in Kanab. :-)

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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby Peterthecactusguy » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:30 am

really a cool trip all the way around then :)
Here's to you, all you insidious creatures of green..er I mean cacti.
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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby vlani » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:51 am

Great trip!
Following another discussion on another forum on Navajoa culture - at what elevation do they grow? Any moisture in their soil at that time?
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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby peterb » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:08 pm

ficks seem less picky than straight peebelsianus. There are known locales for various forms of fickeisenii all over the Navajoan Desert, from 4000 to about 6000 feet. The soil was slightly moist from rain, but it can also be dry in spring.

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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby Juraj » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:25 pm

As always, super.Holbrook, Shiprock and Fredonia are nice locations.
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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby vlani » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:53 pm

Peter - so that means dry summer-wet winter and spring, regular Sclero-Pedoi routine? 4000-6000 is a bit lower than I thought.
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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby iann » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:59 pm

What a great trip!
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Re: Four Corners, House Rock spring 2012

Postby peterb » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:01 pm

Vlad, I think there are also intense, soaking thunderstorms in summer. But this very fine, sandy red soil dries extremely quickly. I might be wrong, but I think fall and spring are very dry. Holbrook weather data: http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimat ... h/USAZ0099

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