The results are in - The Not So Long Way Down - CycleBlaze

December 2, 2018

The results are in

Another rest day in San Ignacio

Life at La Casa Del Cyclista was really very nice, and "Maybe just one more day," had already been uttered and unanimously, emphatically confirmed without even consulting Windy. With nothing very much to do with our day, we resolved to sit around and hope some more cyclist friends would come along, and there really isn't much else to tell you about the day, which means the primary purpose of this journal entry will be to reveal the results of the exciting 'How good is Bill Shaneyfelt at naming desert plants' event.

1. Bill's answer: Some species of barrel cactus. Since it has pink curved main spines, I am going to go with likely fire barrel (Ferocactus gracilis).

Great start Bill, we'll give you that one, some species of barrel cactus it is, but not fire barrel, seems like its peninsular barrel.
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Next up, number 2. Bill's answer: Looks like some kind of yucca...I'm going to guess Spanish dagger (Yucca schidigera)

Some species of yucca it is, but...
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Yucca valida, not yucca schidigera. Come on Bill.
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Moving on to number 3. Bill thinks: This one might be Pitahaya (Stenocereus gummosus).

Bill thinks wrong this time.
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Bill ShaneyfeltMissed that one for sure.
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6 months ago

Never mind Bill, What about number 4: It is a species of cholla. I spent a good deal of time working on this. Spines are really thick like teddy bear cholla, but too short and the older spines are not dark. My initial gut feeling was cane cholla (cylindropuntia spinosior) because of its appearance, but it is not native to Baja.I found one that sort of matches and is native... clavellina cholla (Cylindropuntia alcahes ) so that is what I will guess it might be, but it could be some kind of hybrid as well.

Sorry Bill, I wish you hadn't taken so much time on this one. It seems I've taken a photo of the wrong signpost.
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Andrea BrownThe sign on the right DOES say "Cholla", however. So I think Bill wins this round.
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6 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Andrea BrownYay!
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6 months ago

Let's not mention that again. Number 5 Bill did not attempt for some reason, possibly because the cactus appears to be dead.  But here's the answer for any of playing along at home:

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Bill ShaneyfeltYes, it does look quite dead.
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6 months ago

What about number 6, a real tough one this. Bill's answer: Not much detail to go on here, but I will hazard a guess that it is elephant tree (Pachycormus discolor )

No, Bill. It's dog poop bush. Obviously.
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Bill ShaneyfeltDog poop bush... 8th picture down.

http://khkeeler.blogspot.com/2016/04/visiting-baja-californiaamazing-plants.html
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6 months ago

This isn't going very well. What about the last one, a chance to redeem yourself Bill: Even less able to figure this out. Nope,not even going to guess on it.

It's cheeseweed!
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Andrea BrownMy guess was: "Looks like the cool desert plant that used to be here is gone, replaced by weedy grasses".
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6 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltCheeseweed

http://southwestdesertflora.com/WebsiteFolders/All_Species/Malvaceae/Malva%20parviflora,%20Cheeseweed%20Mallow.html
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6 months ago

Well Bill, you didn't do that well, but to be fair a lot of them were pretty hard to see, and I'm certainly to blame for the one where I took a photo of the wrong signpost, which I remind you we're not going to mention again. On the whole I'd say good work with the first two and thanks for being a good sport. On a serious note, I have to say I've certainly taken a greater interest in the desert plants thanks to your comments and I think we've all learnt something about desert plants from your contributions. On that note, Dea was wondering the other day why everything in the desert is so pointy. "Are the needles just to stop things eating them? Maybe Billy knows?" she said (she calls you Billy).

The cats were on good form today.
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A random horse that was hanging outside of the local pharmacy.
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Moving on, one thing that happened today was that I played football with Othon's son Juan Migel (for the third day in a row), and this time his two friends came and joined in, making for an exciting two-a-side match. Unfortunately, one of his little friends, about 12 years old, was really good at putting the ball through my legs. Again and again and again and again. It was pretty annoying to be honest.

A less embarrassing event was when another cyclist finally arrived. This was a man from Lithuania with a name I have already forgotten. He told me he was riding the Baja Divide, an off-road route that criss-crosses back and forth on the way down the peninsular. Dea and I would have loved to do the same in order to get away from the traffic ourselves, but the route is apparently very sandy and difficult, and would not have been realistic for us on our heavy bikes. This guy had a carbon bike with not very much gear, and very fat tyres to cope with the sand. Impressively he's been riding 100 kilometres a day, about three times as much as we have been averaging on the tarmac. But even more impressive was a journey he did previously on the mostly single-track Arizona Trail. To complete that he had to strap his bike to his back to hike down into the Grand Canyon and back up the other side. Madness! All of his efforts sounded exhausting, just hearing about them wore me out. "Maybe one more day, Dea?" I said.

San Ignacio is even more of an oasis in the desert for Baja Divide riders, being one of the only towns on the route, and as a result our potential new friend chose to go and sleep in a bed at a hotel. So no new cycling friends for us today.
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Bill ShaneyfeltIt was fun, but I find some of their botanical identifications slightly suspect.

Then again, not actually having hands-on, my identifications are more than slightly suspect.

Billy? It has been 50 years or more since I was called Billy! (except for my older sister) :-)
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6 months ago