City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

July 10, 2017

July 2nd

Filed under: Foxglove beardtongue, Smells — canopus56 @ 8:32 pm

Talking Plants – Part II – Disappearance fragrances

7:00 p.m. A summer heat wave is coming and today temperatures almost reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Today, I only do a short jog to the pond above picnic site 5. The Foxglove beardtongues, one of the only remaining flowering plants, have lost their hint of fragrance smelled earlier in the summer season. In late spring and early summer, Purple vetch, Wood’s rose, and wild mint all emitted strong scents.

* * * *

Per Thoreau’s “Journal” on July 2nd, 1852, he notes that “Nature is reported not by him who goes forth consciously as an observer, but in the fullness of life.” On July 2nd, 1851, he notes a bluish tinge on meadows and that milk weeds are blossoming. He sees that distant objects have a bluish tinge. On July 2nd, 1852, he finds a wild rose grouped white elder blossoms and pink meadow-sweet. He describes the rising of a full moon. On July 2nd, 1854, he notes robins and chip-birds singing in the morning, and he records that meadow red lilies are at their peak. On July 2nd, 1855, he sees bobolinks and notes that they make nests in fields. He again measures the temperature of air (93 degrees) and various water bodies (83.5 to 88 degrees). On July 2nd, 1858, he hears many wood-thrushes.

* * * *

Plants emit fragrances early in season to attract the fewer pollinators that available in spring. But during the summer, when pollinators are more numerous, they do not need to attract pollinating insects, and then plants stop making perfumes. (Dudareva 2005, Filella et al 2013). Since it is expensive to produce either perfumes or nectar to attract insects or birds, examples of plants, not necessarily in the canyon, show how tricky and efficient plants can be at husbanding their limited resources. Some plants produce attractive perfumes but short change insects by not producing nectar (Kessler et al 2015). In a meta-review of 18 studies, Junker and Blüthgen at University of Wurzburg found that many plants produce fragrances that concurrently attract pollinators and repel damaging herbivores (Junker and Blüthgen 2010).

* * * *

On July 2nd 1994, a Jewish Chavurah B’Yachad’s Sabbath evening service was planned to be held in City Creek Canyon. In a July 2nd, 1991 letter the Salt Lake Editor, J. N. Pugh argues that City Creek should be returned a nature reservation by excluding cars from the canyon. On July 2nd, 1954, a forest fire “covering a wide area” raged in City Creek Canyon three to four miles above the Salt Capitol building (Salt Lake Telegram). On July 2nd, 1947, the north benches between Dry Fork and Ensign Peak were closed to entry due to the risk of fire (Salt Lake Telegram). On July 2nd, 1916, the Salt Lake Telegram recommended City Creek Canyon for automobile touring. On July 2, 1916, the Salt Lake Telegram jokingly reported that an angler caught a trout from City Creek in the sewer gutters along Main Street.


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