Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Morning After, Part 2

 The post coming to you via the slowest internet service in town - at the college!  I hope my stuff makes it into cyberspace before the species pictured become extinct.  These are photos taken the morning after the rainstorm that occurred during Sunday night.  Part 1 was mostly water drops on leaves.  Here I'm showing some of the invertebrates that rose up from deep in the formerly hard, dry clay to reside for a while under the small boards I leave around the yard to attract them.  I hadn't seen any slugs in the yard (above photo) for two months, yet this light rain was sufficient to excite them into coming to the surface again.  I wonder if he/she will tell his/her buddies it's OK to come out.  These critters are hermaphrodites.  One of my favorite words bridging science and mythology.
 Sharing the same small board for cover, a lone Pill Bug (an isopod) does a little exploring.  These usually arrive in large groups, so I'll be looking around for more
 Sure enough, under a neighboring board I found more Pill Bugs plus Earwigs.  The latter are quite fast, so at least a dozen escaped down their little holes before I could click the shutter.
 This beetle must have said something scary because the lone Pill Bug took shelter inside himself. 
 My lone Red Clover that was knocked flat by the dew in the morning perked up again by afternoon.  Looking fresh as if it were spring.
 The dense fir forest across the driveway from my house has very little ground cover, but what there is is quite colorful.  A few Dogwoods (above) plus Trail Plant, False Solomon's Seal, Currant, and Thimbleberry.  This section of forest seems evenly divided between Douglas-fir and White Fir with occasional Sugar Pines.  As we hike up the hill from here, we find a few large stands of Big Leaf Maple and California Black Oak. 
Adjacent young oaks, probably from this year's acorns, are inexplicably two different colors.  The orange one on top shows the most typical fall color of this species on the mountains around Quincy.  A stand of these surrounded by evergreens is quite a beautiful sight.  Look toward the college as you leave Quincy heading North to see good examples of these colors.

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