Dreams are the seeds of change.
Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream.
– Debby Boone
The Stewards dream big. We dream of a Mesa with native plants thriving and supporting native wildlife. We dream of walking down the path with the native flowers blooming on either side mixed with the sweet scents of Coastal Sage Scrub and waving grass. And it all starts with a seed.
We have struggled to remove the ice plant at the gun mounts for a while. Every time we seem to clear the area, it creeps back with a vengeance. This time, though we are hoping some native plants will help us push out the ice plant. The gun mount area is a unique situation because of the shallow soil. Planting deep-rooted sagebrush or grasses would not work. That’s one reason the ice plant does so well there, because of the shallow root system of the ice plant. Another thing is we don’t want to fill the area in with high plants which would obscure and hide the gun mounts. We think it is an important part of Bolsa Chica history and don’t want to completely cover it.
So we decided to try seeding the area with the annual southern tar plant (Centromadia parryi ssp. australis) and a native called doveweed or Turkey mullein (Croton setigerus). We have seen that southern tar plant doesn’t produce deep roots, can grow low to the ground, and can be prolific. Doveweed is a native that grows wild out on the Mesa and is a spreading ground cover. The birds love the seeds and it’s a rather attractive plant with its hairy gray oval leaves. It also does well in disturbed soil.
Hopefully, the rains come soon and these seeds of hope bring native renewed life to these historic gun mounts.
As another ray of hope in our efforts, as we were working last Sunday one of the Stewards found a baby rattlesnake. He eventually slithered into some denser vegetation, but not before I got a shot of him curled up in the sun.