The rare and beautiful landscapes in the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area contain some species found almost nowhere else on earth – plants that thrive in the extreme environments of the granite outcrop. These plants have evolved to survive the baking heat of summer and the parched conditions of the thin soil and exposed stone, growing with vibrant life in the most unlikely of places. In the National Heritage Area, we love these plants and the puddles where they live. That’s why we take care to hike carefully on the mountain, in order to protect these rare species and their unique habitats.
There’s an easy way to protect these rare ecosystems when you’re hiking! Listen to Ranger Robby as he shows you how:
As you can see in the video, the solution pits (patches of sand, soil and water on the rock face) hold some of the plants that the Park Rangers are working to conserve.
These solution pits aren’t always teeming with life. During large portions of the year, they appear only as sandy patches or puddles. It’s important to leave the pits alone even then as some species lay dormant. That’s how plants like diamorpha survive the scorching heat of the rock in the summer.
If we step in the solution pit in the summer, it disturbs the diamorpha and other plants that are living dormant in the soil. In fact, diamorpha plants hold their seed pods above the ground throughout the heated summer, releasing the seeds to fall to the soil when the weather cools. This allows the plants to survive the extreme temperatures of summer on the mountain. You can discover more about diamorpha here.
Now that you know more about hiking with love at Arabia Mountain, come out and enjoy the wonder of this beautiful landscape!