Friday, August 3, 2012

Blogging from a Different Place

I feel like I've taken a ride in a time machine.  After several years of becoming more intimate with the flora and fauna and scenic vistas of the northern Sierra, I have spent a day renewing my acquaintance with the Sonoma and Mendocino coasts.  Many of the wildflowers I saw today, such as the Stonecrop pictured above, are also found in the Sierra, but often in different habitat.  Many of the ones growing on the coastal bluffs and subjected to salt spray seem stunted compared to their Sierra cousins.  For instance, the Cow Parsnip are mostly only 1 to 2 feet tall and thicker stemmed.  The ones around Quincy often exceed 6 feet in height and are thinner-bodied.  The Gumplant here are much shorter, stockier, and their flowers are much bigger.  In fact, I didn't even realize they were Gumplant until I spotted the re-curved sepals beneath the very large ray flowers. 
I took over 250 photos today and am still in awe of all we saw. 
My wife and I got as far as Point Arena today, then returned to Gualala for a night's rest.  Tomorrow we will explore the Mendocino coast.  It's going to take at least a week to really look closely at all the photos I've taken and share our adventure.

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