Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Recent Wanderings

 A little over a week ago, I started seeing the first Spring wildflowers in the vicinity of Quincy.  Reports from Table Mountain, where Spring arrives much earlier, were tugging at me, but I really wanted to see Spring break here.  The first blooms I saw were Shelton's Violet on the FRC campus.  Shortly afterwards, I found the Henderson's Shooting Star (above) on the Old Keddie Highway.
 At the base of a rock wall at the foot of the Butterfly Valley Road, I found a great patch of Milkmaids (above), and it was a pleasure to see their return to a place where I've seen them before. 
 One my other favorite places to spot early blooms is the Greenville Y.  I had seen the early leaves on the rocks by the river several weeks earlier.  Several subsequent visits left me impatient for their return.  Then, we had a perfect sequence of rainy days followed by warmer sunny days, and Voila! here is the Elegant Rock Cress (above).

Now I'll get ahead of myself, skipping over Saturday's visit to Table Mountain, and mention my Sunday visit to the northern side of Indian Valley for a hike in the woods.  The following three scenes appeared at my feet as I stepped out of my truck.  First, a Damselfly resting on the edge of a leaf of Miner's Lettuce.  The weather was rather cold and windy, so with slowed metabolism, this insect stayed still for all of ten minutes, thus giving time to take a few photos with good focus.
 Nearby there were other patches of Miner's Lettuce blooming (bottom photo) and Chickweed (immediately below), in a setting where the surrounding grasses and shrubs could have rendered all three of these scenes unnoticeable.

Blooming Miner's Lettuce (above).

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