Sunday, March 1, 2015

Will March roar in like a lion?

 We coould use a bit of a roar.  It's been another very dry winter.  Last Friday I went down to Chico and enjoyed a warm, sunny day, and saw several species of spring wildflowers, a hint of what's come come up here in Quincy in another few weeks.  The Purple Nightshade (above) and Indian Paintbrush (below) were blooming on the grade just west of the Pulga bridges.  I actually stopped to photograph the Redbud, but as I wandered around a bit I found several other species blooming.  It was exciting, but I couldn't stay long.  We had errands calling in Chico.
 The real excitement began on the way home.  Around 5:30, just before sunset, we were approaching the Cherokee turnoff when the sky darkened and we were suddenly in the midst of the most intense hail storm I've ever experienced.  That's saying something since I lived for a year in the middle of USA's best hail storm locale, the northeastern corner of Colorado.  My son got this photo (below) of the storm through the side window of the car as I was trying to see the road ahead through huge gobs of 1/2 - 3/4" hail stones.  One tends to exaggerate such things, so after we emerged from the intense hail, we turned around and drove back through it.  This time, we stopped at the side of the road and picked up a few handfuls of the hail.  The individual stones were definitely 1/2 - 3/4" in diameter!
I got a photo of my son holding a handful of the white stuff.  It was soft, so I guess my windshield was never in danger of being smashed.  But for around 10 minutes we wondered. 
I've managed to start the month of March with this thrown-together post, but I have taken a few dozen photos over the past two weeks that I hope to post soon and maybe get back to my one-a-day goal.  Two weeks ago on a trip to Chico we got some good wildflower photos and saw some interesting things we couldn't photograph.  Also nearly ran out of gas in the canyon when CalTrans came to our rescue.  More details later.

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