Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Surviving High Sierra

 When the population of our little town quadruples, and the temperature exceeds 100 degrees, the potential for stress is pretty high.  I have found the key to not only surviving the weekend, but actually enjoying it, is simply to slow down.  Don't try to accomplish what normally takes five minutes (like checking the mail) in less than 15.  Park in the shade and walk further to wherever you are going.  Or just walk - slowly.  Enjoy the greater variety of people for a few days.  Enjoy watching other people's excitement.  Then photograph roadside weeds.
 One of my favorite spots for photographing Showy Milkweed and its insect visitors is now a parking area for festival personnel.  In most years, aggressive weed eating eliminates the milkweeds a few days before the people arrive.  I took pleasure today in finding a place they missed.  In fact, the parking police seemed intrigued by what I was doing, and when I showed them what an incredible fragrance is given off by the milkweed, I think it made their day.  As I continued on down the road, I saw in my rear view mirror one of the guys with an official vest leading others to smell the flowers.
 Another roadside survivor on Lee Road is the Cinquefoil.  It was so hot when I made my stop that neither of these plants had any insect life visiting.  They must have been hiding in the shade somewhere.
Last, along Quincy Junction Road, I stopped to photograph the Teasel.  I have found that trying to photograph Teasel in this particular spot causes the wind to kick up.  Great thing to know on a hot day.  It cooled me off a bit, and I got to practice pushing the shutter release on the extremes of the pendulum swing of the plants.   Several visiting bicyclists stopped to see what I was doing and inquired about whether I had car trouble then enjoyed taking a closer look at the Teasel.  Weeds are so much fun!    High Sierra guests - welcome to Quincy, "Gem of the Northern Sierra."

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