Welcome to Part 2 of "Fun In Our Yard"... Yuccas! The beauty of the yucca family is that there are so many varieties native to the Southwest, and it would appear to me that yet to be a strong consensus of what's exactly what. Not to mention that the darn plant seems to hybridize in nature. So for us, it provides a lifelong learning opportunity, or curse. We're not sure, yet. For most yuccas, accurate identification is only possible while flowering, and so far most of ours are still too young for that kind of mature adult activity. These have all over-wintered through two (or more) extreme winters, so we're quite hopeful.
yucca harrimaniae (1 of 2)
Doll House Yucca
Found in the Four Corner region.
yucca harrimaniae (2 of 2)
Found in the Southwest from Texas to California, and prominent in the Durango area.
yucca filamentosa 'Golden Sword'
Found throughout the Southeastern US.
yucca elata 'Drew's Special Select of Jeff Wagner's nursery via Ft. Collins Nursery'
Soaptree Yucca "Mini Me"
Found in the Southwest from Texas to Arizona.
Found in southern New Mexico and Arizona.
Found in the Texas and New Mexico.
Curved Leaf Yucca
Found in the Southeastern US.
Found in the Southwest from Texas to Arizona.
Great Plains Yucca
Found throughout the Great Plains states from Canada to Mexico.
Prominent in the Durango area, the western extreme of it's native range. West of Durango, it evolves into yucca angustissima or yucca baileyi or yucca neomexicana or yucca harrimaniae, depending on who you talk to. But really, they're all just Narrow Leaf Yuccas.
Thanks to the tireless of work of Wade Moore (who answers the phone at Bouré) and the many members of the Safe Roads Coalition, Colorado's Transportation Commission has approved Colorado Department of Transportation's new Bike/Ped policy.
The directive is rather lengthy and awaiting implementation, but Wade Moore states that the key point is, "...the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians shall be included in the planning, design, and operation of transportation facilities, as a matter of routine ..."
Betsy Jacobson, the Bike-Ped coordinator for CDOT says, "This is an exciting day for me and I really want to thank you for your help. There'll be much work ahead as we start to implement the policy; but it's great to know the efforts of this committee have clearly helped make a safer, friendlier, bicycle and pedestrian state."
Wade relayed the good news to local advocates and offered, "Thank you for all your work and support as we developed the language and moved through this process. Great results for great work! Pat yourselves on the back and have a celebratory drink!"
OK, not quite tequila... but here's the current state of our Durango agave collection - all of which have over-wintered in our yard at 6600 feet. Unfortunately, none are the specific agave used in the tequila-making state of Jalisco (that would be Agave tequilana). Chiefly found in Mexico, agaves occur north into the southern and western United States. For those with botanical interests, here's a sampling of agaves suited to our climate. These have all been grown from seed selected from plants found to thrive in the highest and northern part of their natural range.
The range for Parry's agave extends north to Flagstaff, Arizona.
Found in Arizona, New Mexico, and Northern Mexico.
Agave utahensis var. kaibabensis
Uncommonly found in Arizona and Utah.
Found in West Texas and Northern Mexico.
Found in New Mexico, West Texas, and Northern Mexico.
Riding our bikes can be both beautiful and fully consuming, so best to leave time for other pursuits in order to round out one's interests. In our family, vacations become field trips, expeditions and plant safaris that extend throughout Western North America. Our yard and nursery includes exotic and native plants from the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, Mojave Desert, Sonoran Desert, Chihuahuan Desert, Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada and Sierra Madre. So whenever we travel, we're on the lookout for the unusual. While recently in Portland we visited Hoyt Arboretum, and this is what we found. *Plant portraits by Lisa Bourey
Monkey Puzzle Tree
or Araucaria araucana
This tree looks like it could kick your arse!
The Monkey Puzzle tree is native to central Chile and west central Argentina, and is the national tree of Chile. Because of this species' great age it is often described as a living fossil.
Weeping Giant Redwood
Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum'
Weeping White Pine
Fokienia hodginsii is an extremely rare evergreen tree that is native from southeastern China to Northern Vietnam, west central Vietnam and west to northern Laos. Another living fossil.
David Jones Inducted into Furnace Creek 508 Hall of Fame
Drew and Wade,
Well, I made it to the finish of another FC508, my 6th. It was supposed to be an easy victory lap to celebrate my induction into the 508 Hall of Fame (http://www.the508.com/hof/jonesdavid.html) but turned out to be a real test of will thanks to historic headwinds for 100+ miles through Death Valley and continuing to Baker (228 mile to 380 mile). We got some good photos of me in this years team jersey(s) I thought you would like. The long sleeve white jersey was ideal for the long stretch across the Mojave desert on Saturday and the thermal jersey kept me cozy comfortable for the fast chilly descent into the Shoshone Time Station (326 mile mark). I am still dreaming about doing Solo RAAM again but have decided to put it off till 2011. Thanks for the great support over the years.
We left Durango for Portland to find good food, wine and coffee. We were not disappointed, at least not until we faced the prospects of returning home.
Lisa waits expectantly for a macchiato at Portland's Spella Caffe (find it downtown at Alder and 7th or www.spellacaffe.com).
One macchiato and one cappuccino...
Duly impressed, I'll have to start pulling a better espresso upon my return home to insure marital bliss.
We moved to Durango over 20 years ago, when there was no place to get a good espresso. Now, like much of America, Durango is littered with places to get espresso, yet we're still waiting for someone to serve a really good espresso. Really want a good espresso when in Durango? Perhaps you'll have to get in touch with me? So, come on!