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By on March 15, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter

Look closely at the decisions they make, as the careful branches twist among paths—unseen made known. The orange branches and peeling bark tell a tale millions of years old. 

Influenced by natural selection’s quiet push, their clustered urn shaped flowers hang inverted, facing the carpeted floodplain earth in a time when little blooms. Winter is when manzanita gives pollen and nectar to the bugs. The one millimeter opening of the fused petals is only reachable to those blessed with the anatomy to extend far enough, a gift that the buzzing bumble bees do not have. They instead ask the manzanita with a tune, a tone, a note. A middle C frequency comes from their winged muscles to shake the pollen free. Sonorization we named it, to describe a song of the native bees that they sing to the trees. 

Even after the fire traveled along the valley where we hope these mother clusters kept libraries of seeds, we have not seen young manzanitas grow within the floodplain of the Ventura River. In turn, we took cuttings before the bloom to clone and carry on the age old tales of big-berry manzanita (Arctostaphylos glauca). It was on a cloudy day, when the green glows a certain vibrance. And the ashy blue green of the mother trees called upon our pruners. 

We hope to carry on their winter pollen. 

Sophie McLean Restoration
Field Crew & Nursery Assistant

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