Saturday, April 01, 2006


Lately I've been exploring the sandy, scruffy banks of the Salinas river along the edge of San Lorenzo Park. There's a trail I almost forgot about, which is good on a mountain bike, and smaller side trails to remote picnic and meditation spots along the river. Anyway I was on the other bike path to Pine Canyon when I saw a strangely familiar lavender inflorescence. Close inspection confirmed what it appeared to be: Tamarisk -- a beautiful but perniciously invasive shrub of Mediterranean origin. I had seen it once at a recreation area in San Diego County, and I had heard and read about a number of times. I don't recall ever seeing it around here. Maybe it's been here all along, but I think it's just as likely to be Monterey County's latest invader.


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