After a slow first five months, I'm back to blogging in earnest. In the forthcoming few months I plan to keep on tracking the blooming of wildflowers, the activities of bugs and reptiles and any other critters I'm quick enough or lucky enough to photograph, and to comment on ecological relationships. Since there is an increasing sense of ecological crisis among many people and more vigorous denial of such on the part of others, I will inevitably comment on the social and political dimensions of survival as I see them.
I am still an adjunct instructor in the English Department at Feather River College, but time permitting, I am available for hire as a nature guide in the region in and around Plumas County. A brochure describing my usual kinds of natural history adventures is in development. Email me c/o firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address and a statement of interests, and I'll send you a rough draft.
I have been teaching since 1965 and have recently joined the English Department as an Associate Faculty member at Feather River College. Recently taught Nature Literature in America and am currently teaching Interpersonal Communication and Basic Reading and Writing.
On the way down from the summit of Grizzly Peak, I started to notice flowers again instead of looking only at the horizon in all directions. I could feel myself making the transition back to close-ups. The above photo is of some species of Buckwheat, Family Polygonaceae. There were many such patches around both summits. I'll try to explain the "both" as I go through the photos.
I believe the high point in this photo is the true summit of Grizzly Peak which my topo map reports to be 7,711 feet above sea level. That makes it almost 500 feet taller than neighboring Mt. Hough.
Along the ridge, closer to the second summit, which I believe to be around 100 feet lower, we came across a man-made structure that reminded me of the kivas found around the rim of the Grand Canyon. Joan is standing in what appears to be the doorway. Based on the shape, it could be a foundation for a traditional igloo, but I don't think there are any igloos around here, and I don'[t believe igloos have foundations. This "structure" certainly aroused our curiosity.
This is a view from the actual summit of what I'll call the secondary summit. The latter is around 1/2 mile to the northwest as the Raven flies. Indian Vally is in the background on the right hand half of the photo, and Round Valley Reservoir can be seen just above the peak in the distance. If you click on this photo, you should be able to make out Lassen Peak in the far background.
I zoomed in a little closer so the aforementioned features are clearer.
From the ridge between the tow peaks we stopped to get some shots of American Valley and Quincy.
This pine is at the summit of the secondary peak. There was nothing special about this pine except for the fact I hung my camera on one of its branches while eating lunch, then forgot to retrieve it before we headed down the mountain. That story is told a few posts back on the day after the hike.
I included this flower in that earlier post as it got my attention and begged to be photographed. That's when I discovered I didn;t have my camera! Made a quick round trip of a mile or so to get the camera before heading on down the mountain.
Nearby there was a small patch of Chinquapin, a member of the Oak family. Spiny acorns.
Back on the original summit (although we hadn't agreed on whether this was really it), we stopped to get photos of each other. I am looking northwestward in the one of Joan, and she was looking a bit
closer to due west when she took mine. Just a few more photos on the way down, including ones of that snag that was our first photo on the way up will be in the third and final chapter of this story.
This mountain seems much more remote than the heavily visited Mt. Hough, and that is a large part of its appeal. And to think we live only 7 or 8 miles away as the Raven flies makes it even more special.