Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pineapples in the Desert?

A few weeks back, I surveyed a long pipeline and found this cactus.Since it was the biggest cactus I'd seen since I started this job, I snapped a photo and forgot about it. A few weeks later, I had to return because the pipeline was being re-routed because an endangered species of cactus was found within the corridor of disturbance. I went out with 7 other people from various companies so we could all put our heads together and find a place for this pipeline to live. Here are six of the eight of us.These are our trucks. Mine looks so dinky next to all the others.The biologist who's crew found the endangered cacti showed us what they looked like. For scale, these are about as big as a golf ball. Some of the ones they were finding were as small as marbles.Here is a little cluster of them.The name of the species is Sclerocactus wetlandicus. Why they named it wetlandicus, I have no idea, because there is nothing wet about that landicus. Anywho, I asked the biologist how big they got. He made a shape with his hands and said, "About that big." The shape was about as big as a pineapple, so I told him I'd seen a big cactus like that near the end of the pipeline. He was interested so when we got near, I showed him where it was. He got very excited and said it could be over 100 years old. He'd only ever seen one other that large. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for finding something so amazing, when on our way out of the area, he found this.Giant Sclerocactus wetlandicus #3. I guess the Lord is just trying to keep me humble. This one is a little larger than the one I found. What I still don't understand is how these trained biologists walked right past the very thing they were looking for, twice. I guess we all miss the things that are right in front of our faces sometimes.

Trying to type with two tiny girls on my lap,



Amanda said...

That is cool! I didn't know we had any endangered cactus species in Utah.

Carterista said...

That's what you are!

Mama said...

Very interesting! You led those bios in the right direction. And, oh, you type very well with two tiny girls on your lap!