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Jepson Field Book volume 31 page 16 | University and Jepson Herbaria Archives, University of California, Berkeley

Jepson Field Book volume 31 page 16
Moraga Ridge, Oct. 31, 1914. ----------  - Pinus tuberculata, prob. the largest tree on the ridge, at 2. ft. 6 in., circ. = 4 ft. Age prob. betw. 80 & 125 years. 35-40 ft. h.    From the summit there would seem to be some larger trees on lateral spurs to the west. ----- - The Ecology of Eschscholtzia. cf. 32:19. The number of newly [formed?] [found?] species of Eschscholtzia is quite overwhelming. This E. calif. of ours is undoubtedly very variable but I cannot see in it anything more than fluctuating variations, ecological in character, having to do with the season, the richness or poorness of the soil, the amount of water. The big golden E. cal. of Vaca Valley fades out in summer to small yellow flowers, its big spring torus, broad and stout, vanishes to a thin almost scarious rim. When one has been for many years familiar with this, with all the remarkable and extraordinary variations appearing on a single plant in a single flowering season within a space of six weeks, when one sees the variation in size of the plants on different soils, when one sees a given definite individual with stiffly erect and    ::::::::: Berkeley, 1916. ----------  straight stems springing lustily from the earth in the fullest tide of spring vegetation, and the same plant developing weak sprawling or reclining and slender stems, then one obtains a conception of this species from field work which becomes a part of his working stock and defines or at least influences his attitude towards this species. As one continues to observe it, growing in light sandy soil, rocky hilltops or rich loam one continues to observe its marked variations but such harmonize with past experience and one is not startled by them. I have long studied these things in the field and I am am without any thought of the personality behind the author of the proposed. That attitude becomes a habit and one learns to live completely in a world of thought detached entirely from this sordid phase in the botanical activity of some men. By living sufficiently long in such a purified atmosphere it is impossible for me to live, or perhaps even scarcely exist in the other. -- And altho this conception of Eschscholtzia is the result of a long and very slow development, the mind has had forced upon it a certain arraignment of the species accompanied by a very definite image of it. With all this I have preserved that tremendously important concatenation with arraignment, judgment and conviction, an open mind. My thoughts were tinged with the idea that something had been overlooked, that a new locality and new observations might change the view arrived at. I do not know that I have ever come to an absolutely irreversable conclusion. I am sure I have not. My conclusions are the best possible, approximations to the truth. God help the man who thinks he has succeeded for he can do nothing more for himself! -- May 14, 1916
University and Jepson Herbaria Archives, University of California, Berkeley
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