Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Road to a Warmer Place

 From 8 degrees at sunrise in Quincy to 61 degrees in the afternoon in Chico felt like cheating.  Driving down Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon was an eyeful as usual, but we had appointments to keep so we drove by many photo opportunities at 55 mph.  Fortunately, we were able to head back to Quincy with plenty of daylight and photo time remaining.  The first compelling stop was just east of Jarbo Gap where the bright berries of Toyon decorated the hillsides.
 Another favorite that I haven't seen in months was the California Bay Laurel whose irresistible fragrance is released when leaves are pinched.  There were lots of fresh-looking ones from Yankee Hill onward through most of the canyon.
 Roadside wet spots had some greenery in the moving water, mostly watercress and small greens i couldn't identify.  Still standing from last summer were lots of Cat-o-nine-tails.
 The bush lupine was abundant from Jarbo Gap all the way down to the Pulga Bridges.  Looking forward to flower watching in spring along this stretch.
 Between Rich Bar and Paxton were lots of displays of frozen waterfalls.  It took great will power not to stop when I saw these on the way down in the morning, and I was hoping they would melt and crash before we returned.  These displays reminded my wife and me of days in western North Carolina where we'd see massive frozen waterfalls where daring people practiced their ice climbing.  Every now and then we'd be present when the temperature warmed and tons of ice would come crashing down onto the highway.

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