Happy Mother’s Day from Black Point


Ice Plant at Black Point



Ordinarily I would be a bit hesitant to glorify an invasive, non-native plant like ice plant, but sometimes you just have to take a breath and enjoy what’s right in front of you.  I also thought that it would be a nice way to send some flowers to all the moms out there, being so close to Mother’s Day and all.

This time of year this section along the bluff at Black Point here on Sea Ranch is in full bloom from several colors of ice plant, and some poppies as well.  The colors seem unreal, almost iridescent.  Ice plant is native to South Africa and has invaded the California coast from top to bottom.  It displaces many native species but can also serve to stabilize embankments, although there are almost always native alternatives available for bank stabilization.  It’s difficult to remove ice plant once established and sometimes you just have to marvel at its bright colors and take in its beauty.

So, an early Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there and no letters please from the California Native Plant Society.  It’s Mother’s Day…deal with it!


Equipment: Nikon D3s; Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 lens


This entry was posted in Beach, Coastal meadows, Environmental Issues, Landscapes, Sea Ranch, Sea Ranch Photography, Seascapes, Wildflowers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Happy Mother’s Day from Black Point

  1. Chris says:

    Stunning, Phil!
    I think the ice plant could serve as a proxy for human immigration, and what happens when non-natives take hold in a new environment. In this case, your native plants were unable to withstand the invasion, but the invaders seem to have proven themselves capable at stabilizing the soil, and have out-shined the natives. This has had the effect of creating or adding value to “looking good” while at the same time getting the job done.

    So, too bad for the native plants and their advocates, I guess.

    On a similar note, we used to cultivate purple loosestrife in our yard because we liked the way it looked. Then we found out it was invasive, and its cultivation was even prohibited by local code! I didn’t want to get a summons and pay a fine, so I tore it out of the yard, and dropped in the woods near Mill Pond. It looks more at home, there, twenty years later and really thriving!


    • Thanks, Chris, but I’m not sure the American Indian would appreciate the comparison. Unlike in nature, immigrants add to our already rich diversity where in nature invasive species can significantly reduce diversity, even if they may fulfill another specific function. That’s the beauty of photography…sometimes you don’t have to resolve all those conflicts and you just get to embrace the beauty that’s before you. You can discuss the pros and cons of species diversity later…much later.

      You’re always thinking…don’t stop!


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