Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Some Unusual Sights to Begin a New Month
Technically, I took these photos yesterday, the last day of May. However, after looking over a few dozen, I decided to choose these four for a theme to begin the month of June. The snow I've been forecasting hasn't yet materialized at the Quincy elevation, but I did drive through some sleet this afternoon at the 4,500' level near Portola.
As for the photos, the top one is of Equisetum sp., commonly known as Horsetail or Scouring Rush. I promise I didn't alter the photo. What caused the rainbow color effect, I have no idea. They were growing in a ditch at the side of Hwy 89, and were perhaps subjected to road salts during winter, frequent light and temperature changes, and who knows what else. They were in a place where it's not safe to park, so as I approached on foot, I experienced what are probably harsh conditions for a plant. Click on the photo for a close view.
Regular readers/viewers, if there are any, may be sick of my fascination with Dandelions. But this one was hard to resist. Close to the Horsetails, it was subjected to harsh conditions. In my experience, Dandelions always make the best of a challenge. I especially love how they adapt to lawnmowers by "learning" to bloom below the level of the blades. I called this one "Dandelion Ballet" and will probably put an enlargement in one of our galleries soon.
The third photo is of a cultivated specimen of Bachelor's Button. I may have to post a series of photos of this patch I found in Greenville. The petals are unusually skinny, and the bundle of sepals had a pattern reminiscent of pine cones and pineapples and Finonacci. I thought a side view was the most dramatic.
The last photo is of a blooming Thimbleberry. It qualifies as unusual on this day in two respects. First, I had to climb a slippery embankment above a busy highway to photograph it. Second, it was the only bloom in a huge patch of Thimbleberry stretching over a hundred yards of forest. Within a few more days, it won't be unusual any longer as it will be joined by hundreds of others, some of which can be photographed without climbing.