Well, the time had come for one of the marches of this holiday, a stroll into the Quebrada San Ramon to add Copiapoa taltalensis and C. krainziana to the every growing list of Copiapoas to show Jonathan.
Bart & Marijke + Brendan plus their Chilean friend Osvaldo and his girlfriend had decided to take the hike up the hill near the entrance of the Quebrada to see C. montana and Lucy decided to stay near the car.
JYC was suitably impressed with the diversity of Copiapoa here – it has baffled many a cactophile over the years. I noticed how many human footprints were here and how some of the well known features had changed, some probably by human activity, others perhaps by earthquakes. The floor of the canyon that is often littered with dried remains of annual plants was now covered by shrubby plants in leaf and some flowers – ID’s to be found later. The ‘Boggy areas’ that are a feature of the regular hike, seemed to have increased in area and the plants in size. There were some ‘caves’ that I did not recognise, clearly used for camping and it seemed that a new side canyon had opened up that threw me for a while, making me think that I had taken a wrong turn. We carried on and what seemed like an age (caused by my self doubt) there was the first C. taltalensis – we had to be on the right trail. Shortly after, the first C. krainziana – what a relief, imagine the embarrassment at not being able to find this key plant of the trip! Phew!
The walk back went a lot faster – down hill and with JYC already having recorded the details for the Copiapoa. I suggested that if we got to the car in time, we would have time to see C. humilis at the Monument to the Virgin above Paposo. It was also Jonathan’s first detailed look at C. cinerea ssp haseltoniana, so all in all, a good score for the day!
Today’s images are filed as S2921 – diverse C. cinerea forms in San Ramon between the entrance and the point where C. taltalensis begins.
S2922 – C. taltalensis and C. krainziana
S2923 – Way back to the entrance
S2924 – Monument to the Virgin at Paposo