Kelly Stewart

Writer

Natural La Jolla

Recent Articles

  • Giant kelp forest off La Jolla provides a rich habitat

    Giant kelp forest off La Jolla provides a rich habitat

    Just offshore, we have one of the most productive habitats on Earth that supports extremely high biodiversity. The giant kelp forests of Southern California are dominated by two large brown algae species, the giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) and bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana). Giant kelp grows...

  • It’s the time for ice plants of every variety

    It’s the time for ice plants of every variety

    I am going to continue with the plant theme for this week’s article because there are so many flowers at this time of year that deserve mentioning. Ice plant is one of the best flowering plants in the spring, and there are many different varieties. The most common and most noticeable is the thick-leaved...

  • Perez’s sea lavender adds a great splash of purple to the seashore

    Perez’s sea lavender adds a great splash of purple to the seashore

    The first day of spring has just passed and that means we are about to be surrounded by the most beautiful wildflowers (and cultivated flowers) along our seashore. The bluffs are brightening with color and one plant that is beginning to thrive again is Perez’s sea lavender, also known as statice...

  • Ground squirrels become more active on the coastal bluffs

    Ground squirrels become more active on the coastal bluffs

    By Kelly Stewart You can find these furry little rodents running all over the cliffs in La Jolla, munching on ice plants and roots, and then disappearing into a burrow at the first sight of an approaching dog. Mottled brown and white, California ground squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi) are found...

  • It’s prime time for the striking bird of paradise blooms

    It’s prime time for the striking bird of paradise blooms

    It’s wintertime in La Jolla, and that means that the birds of paradise are blooming. These beautiful flowers and trees are native to South Africa and are related to the banana plant. As evergreens, they don’t lose their leaves so they make an attractive addition for an easy-to-maintain garden. ...

  • Natural La Jolla: Sea stars are models of engineering, efficiency

    By Kelly Stewart Starfish are iconic animals of the sea, immediately recognizable by everyone. Although many insist that the proper term for these calcareous creatures is “sea star,” starfish is more commonly used. Starfish are Echinoderms (along with sea cucumbers and sea urchins) and many belong...

  • A tidepool curiosity is the giant keyhole limpet

    A tidepool curiosity is the giant keyhole limpet

    By Kelly Stewart As you look down on the rocky shoreline that leads to the water’s edge, it looks like an impossible habitat wherein life could survive. But upon further investigation, you will find there are many creatures living in between the cracks and under rocks clinging on for dear life....

  • Beautiful inflorescences of the foxtail agave in bloom

    A large botanical family, the agaves (Agave spp.) have many uses and grow well in the dry areas of the Southwest and Mexico. The nectar produced from these beautiful plants has become very popular as a sugar and syrup substitute as it has a milder flavor than syrup but is sweeter than honey. The...

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