Sunday, May 15, 2005

Flowers & Soil

I'm seeing a very interesting and I guess not terribly surprising correlation between the underlying geology of my property, and the types of wildflowers that grow on it.

There's a pale yellow flower that seems to dominate on the lowest parts of the property, near the road:

There is a seasonal stream that flows along the property just south of us--coming out of a spring in the sandstone. The stream itself seems to have eroded all the standstone away, leaving only basalt, and these intense purple flowers:

On the parts of my parcel that, according to the geologic map and some excavations that I have had done, should be Payette Formation (Quarternary sandstone and siltstone layers), these white flowers appear in profusion:

Here's a more detailed picture of one of these flowers:

Here's the soil I extracted from what seems to be a standstone section:

It is pretty decent soil, with lots of organic material in it. By comparison, up on the basalt spine, I can't even get two inches of soil with a shovel--basalt, basalt, and more basalt. I suspect that either because of the shallowness of the soil, or the chemistry of the decay products, on the basalt spine of the property--and according to the geological maps, what should be basalt on the adjoining properties--we have these quite intensely orange-yellow flowers:

Over where I think the odds of a successful well are highest--partly based on geology, and partly based on the proximity of a successful well on my neighbor's parcel to the north, we are back to this wonderful black soil, which goes deeper than I was prepared to excavate with a shovel on a beautiful Saturday morning:

Looking up the slope from there you see a lot of shrubbery (try to say like the Knights of Nicht in Monty Python and the Holy Grail), suggesting that water (although perhaps not terribly deep water) is available:

Up on the basalt spine, and extending up the hill (towards the house with its own airstrip) you can see more of the orange-yellow flowers that seem to like basalt so much:

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