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Santa Ynez river SB Co, CA

 Well went out to the river again. Found a few new plants there.

I had previously located some emmersed Ech. berteroi (these look very
different and unassuming as emmersed plants) but found some submersed this
time. They where covered in a thick layer about 2-5mm thick of a light grey
marl with biofilm. Not really algae but some diatoms were on it. It wiped
off very easily to reveal a nice very healthy leaf with nice color, no signs
of deficient health underneath. These were at about 50cm of water, very
clear, very large gravel with larger stones mixed in. It's about the same
substrate  you'd expect to find in a Rift valley lake. Hardness is also
unreal. 2 miles upstream there is a sulfur hot springs and most all of the
rocks are covered in white carbonate deposits, plants included(Not the
Veronica, just the Nitella, Ech. sword and Chara). I kind of got the feeling
that the marl was suppose to be there to protect the plant from most algae
and to block all that light. Algae was very light on the marl compared to
the rocks near by.
I never found much of any algae ever growing on the Veronica. It would have
some green hair algae growing entangled in there's roots sometimes but never
any growing on the leaves.
I got some good pics of the Veronica, it's a pink color and the pics don't
do the funny color justice. Some plants are slightly green but most are a
deep pink to red to a light pale red.
It turns green in my tank. I brought some back along with some other plants
to try again.

I have a few photos of the Veronica growing well in this environment. Some
neat little Lamprologus looking fish running around also. Needed my net.
I found a Cyperus and an Eleocharis also doing well submersed. The two new
plants that I did not expect were the Nitella(looks like the flower of
mint/sages-see Teepot's book) but these were much stiffer and stronger than
the ones I've seen in the past. Likely due to the harder water. The other
plant appears to be Callitriche sp. I finally figured out a plant I found up
North in Marin Co turned out to be Callitriche heterophylla, the "spoon
bill" Callitriche. Very nice plant but very delicate and would be difficult
to ship anywhere. It grew well for awhile but likely needs cooler waters(75F
or less) to do well. WE shall see if this other species fairs better.

The area around the river is chaparral plants as are most are the Mts in SB
Co. There's some Pilularia americana fern out here in some of the vernal
pools and it makes it through the long dry summers and fall characteristic
to the CA floristic province. Have not run across it yet. Bad season for the
pools so far, not enough water. I'd like to get some of the sporocarps from
the pools(taking seeds/spororcarps is okay) to try out. They also have an
Orcutt grass which are on the endangered list that have C4 metabolism and
apparently use it for submersed growth advantage(Orcuttia californica), neat
endangered genera of grasses. 3 species of Gratoila are also present,
endangered also. There's a nice rare sag(distribution-habitat loss, at the
one location there's plenty but there's only _one_ location hence the
problem and the need for conservation) also that only found near here but I
have still yet to get up to that pool yet.
That's all for now. I'll try to post some of the Veronica pic's up
Tom Barr