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Love It

Autumn is approaching…

Titles… I always have a hard time trying to figure out what to name my posts. The title.. The dreaded title. Do any of you have the same problem?

Anyway, here is a walk I took with my dogs, and some fall stuff. Fall for Southern California, doesn’t always mean giant Maple Trees, although we do have them growing wild,  most are in neighborhoods.

In Southern California, you get tiny hints that fall is approaching. The fall flowers bloom, the gourds bloom, the butterfly bushes bloom. We have all kinds of wild flowers that are a deep maroon to a bright burnt orange.

Well, instead of trying to describe what its like, here are some snaps I took during my walk yesterday.

The first photo is of a gourd plant. The name of this plant is Cucurbita Foetidissima. It’s most common name is Buffalo Gourd. It is also known as the wild pumpkin, wild gourd, Coyote Gourd, and fetid gourd. The last name derived from the fetid odor produced by the leaves when they are crushed. This keeps insects away.

 

I loved its symmetrical patterns, and the color of the leaves. You know fall is just around the corner if you see these blooming.




The Buffalo Gourd is a fast growing perennial that is very drought tolerant. It hasn’t rained here in a month of so, and it thrives. The vines can extend for hundreds of feet.

I couldn’t get the whole vine in one shot, without being to far away for you to tell what it even was. Here is another.

Closer now. It is really hard to miss with its grey-blue green leaves.

This plant has a long history dating back to 5,000 years as seeds were found in archaeological digs at the Hinds Cave near the Pecos River in Texas. The flowers are a bright yellow and look like any other squash flower.

The Natives in America used almost every part of this plant. The oil can be used in shampoo, hand soap and laundry soap. The root, which is rich in sugars, steroids, and saponins, and foams when water is added. 

The oils can be used as Biofuel! Image growing this, instead of taking oil out of the earth….

The fruit look like tiny watermelons. They are the size of a baseball, around 3-4 inches in diameter.

One hectare of plants can produce 2.5 tons of seeds. The fruit below is ripe and ready to pick, which I did and brought home to plant.

The tap root which is used as storage for overwintering can reach a weight of 159 lbs. or 72 kg.  A four year root can reach a weight of 45 kg. or 99 lbs. Just for the root!

The one I brought home to plant. The fresh gourd can be eaten like squash, but once the fruit is mature it is no longer edible, as it gets very bitter.  The fresh leaves can be used as animal food they say….

There is so much about this plant I didn’t know.

Okay, enough on the squash, here is another beauty that blooms this time of year.

It is named Solanum Nigrum, black nightshade, duscle, garden nightshade, garden huckleberry and popolo. It has been around for a long while. Deposits were found in the Paleolithic and Mesolithic era.

Parts of the plant can be toxic, nonetheless, the ripe berries are delicious and leaves are used as traditional medicine. The aphids and tiny ant loved it.

Then I came across a Butterfly bush. I loved its color!

Closer.. This plant had light lavender flowers with a small orange center.

Another..

In my purple post I mentioned that purple was the hardest color for the human eye to see, so it could of been really easy to miss these beautiful wild butterfly bushes, as you can see in the photo below.

It was time for a break. An old pump and cement pad worked well for a place to sit. I had some fun playing with shadows of my son and myself. The first shadow is of me, and my bag, then my son and lastly the pump… Now,  I noticed the pump looked like some kind of jet pack in this shadow.

Why not make it look like my son is wearing a jet pack. lol Riding in a spaceship!!!

Part two of my walk will be coming soon. Thanks for taking time to check out my post!

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Written by Kim_Johnson

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  1. Winter is nearly here in Montana. Though the fires continue, we have snow at around the 4,000 foot level (not very high above the elevation right here). Our nightly lows are in the 30s and it has been several days since we had a high temperature of above 55. There is snow in Glacier National Park. There is also snow in Oregon, in the Cascades. Crater Lake has snow on the ground. This is way early for cold weather here (though it helps with the fires), but our summers have been getting shorter for the past decade or so and both summers and winters have been getting colder across most of the northern US.




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    • I thought I had seen snow pictures already this year. Strange weather we are having. We never used to get this heavy marine layer that we have had for the past 10 years. Or more like 8-9 years. I hope it doesnt get too bad, but it is very early. In september??? wow. I remember being shocked we had snow on Halloween one year in Arkansas, now this? Get yer parkas out!




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      • Oh, I remember early cold and winter, but it was back in the 1960s. It seems that we are getting back into that cycle, weatherwise. Even with global warming all but completely disproven, it is way too early to say that it is global cooling (the popular theory back in the 1970s). I suspect that it is just cyclical. Many of these cycles are no doubt longer than a human lifespan. It also tends to balance out. Many of the places that have been getting record hot summers are also places that have received record cold winters. We were abnormally dry this summer, but many places were unusually wet.




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    • Thank you for the compliments! We have some trees that change color, but not many. Most are in peoples back yards. The willow trees turn a pretty yellow here. Fall does not fill me with sadness, as the winters are actually one of the nicest time of year here.




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    • Our summers are odd here lately. It stays cool and cloudy until September then we get nice weather until after Christmas then it gets cloudy again. So, this time of year is really awesome, its cool enough to hike, but not too hot. Thank you, glad you liked the photos.




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