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Light and Flowers Fading

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View of the clouds rolling in this evening. I'm still trying to adjust to it getting darker earlier, and just barely made it out the door before it got too dark.

Among the last blooms of the year are some species of shrubs in arid areas. Though it has been hot and dry for months and the herbaceous plants have already put on seed and dried up, some plants- mainly shrubs are able to efficiently use any available water, and bloom in late summer and fall.

The roots of big sagebrush are extremely efficient, with a central taproot that can grow 10 to 15 foot deep to the water table, and an extensive lateral root system which takes advantage of any seasonal precipitation and even short rainstorms.

Big sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata var. tridentata flowers and seed heads against the darkening night sky.

Rubber rabbitbrush, Ericameria nauseosa (syn: Chrysothamnus nauseosus), another deep rooted, late blooming shrub of arid lands. While it takes some observation to figure out the big sagebrush is blooming- the flowers tend to be a similar color to the rest of the plant- rubber rabbitbrush's blooms are so bright yellow and profuse, you might think that all the shrub is- only flowers. There are some twiggy branches and skinny leaves too though...

See my previous blogs on sagebrush "fruits", the the ecology and importance of sagebrush, and shrub identification.

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