Sunday, August 3, 2014

An Unnatural Piano

We drove through the Feather River Canyon Saturday in order to do some shopping in Chico.  As always, I was getting a bit of eye strain trying to spot new wildflowers while going 55 and trying not to run off the road.  Since we had a bit of a tight schedule ahead, I decided I wouldn't stop unless I saw a blooming flower I hadn't yet seen this season.  I never stopped.  Here's what I saw: St. John's Wort, Star Thistle, Gum Plant, Wall Flower, Mullein, Goldenrod, Groundsel, Hooker's Evening Primrose, Yellow Sweet Clover, and Arnica.  Every blooming flower I could from the car was yellow.  So, I didn't get any photos.  However, I really had the urge to find something worth blogging about.  So, I'm posting the above photo taken by my wife in a music store.  This keyboard instrument, powered by my breath, is known by many different names.  Most common around these parts seems to be Melodica.  I prefer to call it an "unnatural piano."  So, the closest thing in the photo to a natural history topic is either me or the wood of the violins in the background.  This crazy post is just a way of expressing my frustration at not finding a great natural history topic on Saturday.
I did spot something interesting by Wick's Corner while going 65mph on the freeway.  A small irrigation pond behind a barbed wire fence was covered with a purplish brown plant, a floating fern called Azolla.  It's a very interesting little plant that I've kept in aquariums on occasion.  I'm tempted to go back there to get some photos so I can tell its story.

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