Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pre-spring wanderings, Saturday

 On Friday, I had to do an errand in the Bay Area, so I had to drive through the Feather River Canyon without stopping.  That can be quite a tease this time of year.  Lots of spring wildflowers, and presumably their usual invertebrate visitors. were emerging from winter sleep.  I had my camera in the back seat just in case, but time was crucial and I couldn't stop when I saw bright red spots that I took to be the Scarlet Fritillary, the bright orange of the Wallflower, and the yellow of the Seep-spring Monkeyflower.  On Saturday, also short on available time, I just had to go back down the canyon a short distance to at least find the Fritillary.  I failed.  The great Bluebelly Lizard in the above photo made up for it.  He was my first reptile of the season.  While I was on foot, many smaller ones scooted ahead of me and found their hiding places faster than I could manipulate my camera.  Finally, I spotted this big one from the front seat of my car while driving very slowly.  He stayed still long enough for me to switch to my telephoto and take the picture from the front seat of the car.
 While crawling around on the ground I spotted a patch of Spring Whitlow Grass. 
 Here's a close-up of this cute member of the Mustard family.
 Not only have the Dandelions bloomed in great numbers, the ones living in the "fast lane"...
 have already gone to seed when most flowering plants haven't yet broken ground.
Here's a remnant of last year's Hooker's Evening Primrose.  More later.

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