Poor man’s canola and the disappearing prairie

I’ve noticed the past few years that there is tall, yellow plant, a weed that blossoms in June. It’s not canola but from a distance it looks like it.

Above is an example of an urban landscape that looks rural. Close to where I live there has been freeway construction for the past few years. That has meant that large areas of land are left unseeded. The city doesn’t spray these places for weed control and the weeds flourish.

Well, the weeds are again in season. A large field that was planted in wheat last year has been taken over by these weeds. I am guessing that the property owner is being reimbursed by the city to NOT plant a crop there this year while construction is taking place close by. As a result, I have my canola like photos weeks before the real canola blossoms.

If you look carefully on the left hand side of the photo you can barely make out a freeway exit sign in the distance. This whole area has been zoned for light industrial development. Much of what I have shot over the years will disappear into a network of scrap yards, small shops, etc.

Unlike the national parks which will be around for many years, these places close to large cities will continue to disappear and be absorbed into the city. One more reason why you might want to consider shooting close to home. One of my favorite shots from last year that looks like a lake in the wilderness has been completely bulldozed and the land contoured to provide a stormwater drainage lake in an as of yet undeveloped neighborhood. The infrastructure, the sewage lines, etc. have not been put in place. All the ducks, muskrats, etc. that used to nest or live there have either been displaced or killed. It’s sad really but that’s how cities expand.

Make your hay while the sun shines.

Happy shooting,

Dan

ps. after doing a bunch or googling, I think that the weeds are yellow rocket, Barbarea vulgaris. They are a member of the mustard family which might explain why the leaves look very similar to those of canola.

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~ by Dan Jurak on June 28, 2012.

4 Responses to “Poor man’s canola and the disappearing prairie”

  1. Dan, you have a unique way of making an ordinary field looks fantastic.

  2. Wonderfully pleasing image for me. As fast as we are eliminating our natural areas, we may have to see images like this taken within the city limits.

  3. Dan… what is this flower? I see fields of them around SP too. they seem too orderly and dense to be a weed; is it a holdover (repeat) of the previous year’s canola crop perhaps?

  4. Steve, a fellow I used to work with once told me what they were. I emailed him this morning. Hopefully he remembers. I searched on the internet and didn’t come up with anything. I though that they were canola until my friend said otherwise. Stay tuned.

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