Sunday, September 18, 2011

More Treats from Deans Valley

My brief Friday outing to the Deans Valley area yielded many surprises. In recent weeks my photos have reflected the usual end-of-summer browning and drying of roadside vegetation and I've occasionally thrown in a springtime photo or two with a sense of longing for spring gone by. As we headed up the Forest Service road toward Deans Valley, there were no surprises. Dried up bushes and flowering plants gone to seed, pine cones on the ground, and a hint of fall colors on some of the deciduous trees and shrubs. Then, at a campground by a creek we got out and walked around. There were flowers blooming that had wilted and dried up months ago in most areas I frequent. The Indian Pink (top photo) is one I don't see that often. I photographed them a month and a half ago at the side of Meadow Valley Road, but they're long gone. It was a treat to find a patch of fresh-looking ones with bees actively doing their job. Then I stumbled across some fresh-looking Crimson Columbine. Then the clusters of Ladybird Beetles featured in my previous post. There were several mating pairs among them. It really felt like spring. There were lots of grasshoppers, which is not surprising at this time of year, but an opportunity for close-ups of this elegantly-structured Orthopteran was appreciated. I left the area after a too-brief exploration wishing I could monitor several dozen spots around Plumas County on a daily basis. There's a great deal of interest to a naturalist going on in my own front yard and in the adjacent forest, but the urge to wander is pretty strong. This morning, I left the house around 9:00 a.m. to do some wandering with my camera and got only as far as Quincy Natural Foods. I wanted a peek at the headlines of the Sunday Chronicle and thought I might run into a friend or two for a chat. My trip ended there. The insects visiting the 10-foot-tall sunflowers were amazing. I spent a half hour watching and clicking. I can hardly wait to look at the photos.

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