Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Walking Into Spring, Part 2

 I've been burning the midnight oil, so this is not a good time to be adding text.  However, the photos provide a good enough record of our experience of last Saturday that I'll remember the stories when I'm feeling more rested.  Although we had a frosty night last night, the general trend of warmth and moisture continues so many signs of spring are appearing.  I'm photographing lots of things I have photographed in previous springs, always in search of a better photo of a given species or situation.  Also, while keeping up to date on familiar species, I always come across a few new things every month.  What I particularly enjoyed on this walk was recognizing a number of wildflower species just from the early leaves.  In another few weeks I'll find out how many I've got right.

It's now Wednesday, and I'm a bit more rested.  The new leaves in the above photo may be those of Shooting Star.  The local species that tends to pop up earliest is Henderson's Shooting Star.  I'll keep an eye on it and report later when it blooms, or at least sends up a stalk.
The nemesis of the indoors types, but to me a reminder of well-functioning social organization.  We could learn a lot from the social insects.  Why don't we?  We just call the exterminators.
Another social insect, better at architecture than we are.  I'm promising myself to sit and watch for a long while, at least once this coming spring.  I could bring some of  E. O. Wilson's ant books to read while I wait with my sketch book and camera.
Looks like an early Death Camas.  Definitely a lily of some sort.  I was surprised when I stumbled across the first one, then I started seeing them everywhere.  This walk really whetted the appetite for wildflower photography.  I'm hoping there's enough moisture inthe ground from the recent rains that the forecast week or so of sunny weather will cause the wildflowers to go crazy - so to speak.
Manzanita displays different forms of beauty in every stage of its life, including death.  Here are the first buds I've seen this spring.  There are two species of Manzanita along this trail.  The other one hasn't produced buds yet.  I'll write more about both after they bloom.  Friday and/or Saturday, I'll take a little excursion in search of Tumbleweed.  More about that later.

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