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Low: 61 °F


High: 94 °F
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High: 93 °F
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SCV Outdoor Report: Lupine As A Business Model

Heading south on the 5, I see them out of the corner of my eye: a flash of blue blur.

But not all lupines are blue. There are 82 different species of lupine in California, and some are pink and lavender, with a touch of white and sometimes yellow thrown in for good measure.

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But there’s more to lupine than just a “pretty face”. Lupine provides two business lessons that I’d like to share with you.

The first has to do with customer service, an example of inter-species communication, to be precise. If you take a closer took at the colors of the blossoms, you’ll begin to see a pattern: lighter blossoms at the top, darker ones at the bottom. This is the lupine’s way of sending a message to the bees and butterflies that pollinate it.

When pollination has occurred, there is no need for the plant to continue producing nectar in that blossom. And so the color changes, letting the visiting insect know that “this store is out of stock.” But the remaining blossom provide helpful information, the floral equivalent of, “let me check with our nearby stores, to see if they have any left.

The second has to do with the principle of providing value, as in “Give more than you receive”. Hidden beneath the surface of the soil, lupine roots contain nodules of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These bacteria enrich the soil by converting nitrogen from the atmosphere into a form than can be used by plants. Long after the lupine have died, the land continues to benefit from their presence.

I wonder if anyone has ever thought of writing a business book on “The 10 Business Lessons We Can Learn from Wildflowers”? Could be a national bestseller, don’t you think?



Upcoming Outdoor Events:

Saturday, April 11, 9-11 AM. Wildflower hike at Towsley Canyon.

Heavy rain cancels. For map and directions go here. Sponsored by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

Saturday, April 18, 8:00-10:00 AM. Morning Bird Hike in Towsley Canyon. Towsley Canyon is a year-round home for birds. They like our Mediterranean climate, the local bounty and the California sunshine. Bring your binoculars and meet at the entrance.

Heavy rain cancels. For map and directions go here.

Sponsored by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

Saturday, April 11 and 25, and every Wednesday, 8:00 AM.

Trail Maintenance Volunteers at Towsley Canyon.

Come join our trail maintenance volunteers for camaraderie and a heart-thumping workout. For more information contact Steve Ioerger at (661) 291-1565.

You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on "The Hike Report", brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

For the complete MRCA hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, click here or go to