Wild Ones   The Grapevine - May-June 2005  
By Maryann Whitman

Grape vine.Imagine

Imagine all the most searing yellows from Van Gogh’s sunflowers, the most sumptuously gorgeous reds and oranges of O’Keefe’s poppies, and the smoky blues and magentas made familiar by Monet’s water lilies. Spread these colors over a landscape as far as the eye can see. Hold tight to that image in your mind while I tell you where this landscape lies: in Death Valley, California, 280 feet below sea level, where summer temperatures can rise to 200 degrees. Record rainfalls (6 inches – three times the average) and early warm temperatures have caused seeds that have lain dormant for 50 years to break dormancy and the plants to bloom prodigiously. Their entire reproductive cycle will be complete in a matter of weeks; their extremely heat-resistant and drought-tolerant seeds will again lie dormant until next spring’s rains might cause a few gullies and patches of them to bloom again.

People who keep track of such things are telling us that this year’s blooming season throughout the Southwest, is the best that has been seen in 50 years.

Sara Stein Memorial

Honorary Wild Ones Director, Sara Stein, author of Noah’s Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards, passed away peacefully Friday morning, February 26th, at her home in Vinalhaven, Maine. A special memorial fund has been established by her family for the Vinalhaven Public Library Native Garden. Wild Ones will accept donations to this Sara Stein Memorial during the next several months, and then submit the total donation to the Vinalhaven Public Library Native Garden Fund from Wild Ones, in honor of Sara Stein. Write your check to Wild Ones FBO Sara Stein Memorial and send it to Wild Ones, P.O. Box 1274, Appleton, WI 54912. You can make a credit card donation on our web site www.for-wild.org/chapters/Watsnew/index.html#050301.

For more information about Sara and her devotion to the environment, please go to “Wild People” on our web site.

Maryann is Editor of the Wild Ones Journal, and comes to the position with an extensive background in environmental matters of all kinds.

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Updated: Oct 27, 2006.
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