Sunday, July 16, 2017
Saturday, July 15, 2017
I still need to go back a post or two to finish my narrative about last weekend's trip to the coast. But today, I just had to escape the heat and go somewhere, like high altitude, where I wouldn't run into a crowd with the same goal. I made a lucky choice, and these two photos of Monkshood made the drive worthwhile, and I got lots more good photos which I'll post soon. The drive began at the road that leads up to Argentine Peak from the spot on Highway 70 across the road from Williams Loop. The first few miles were pretty dusty and bumpy and I was nervous about abusing my truck. I was looking forward to the first major stream crossing which has always been a good spot for wildflowers and the butterflies and moths that pollinate them. Several hopes were fulfilled, and others were exceeded. I saw blooming Washington Lilies, Leopard Lilies, and Corn Lilies, Pennyroyal and other members of the mint family, and some orchids and onions. But, the highlight was the Monkshood shown here. They belong to my favorite wildflower family, Ranunculaceae, to which the Crimson Columbine and Buttercups also belong.
The road was in rough shape and I wondered which damage was done by a hard winter and which was the result of aggressive logging. I wondered about a lot of things, but had time limits as usual, so some things I'll just have to keep on wondering about. I thought of Thoreau and what must have been on his mind when he wrote "Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in."
I titled this post "Spring is Back!" because going up in elevation feels like going back in time. The foothills are bone dry and most species of flowers have gone to seed long ago, but from 5,000 to 6,500' feet elevation where I explored today, lots of those same species are at their peak of blooming. Feels like spring again.
Friday, July 14, 2017
Then, on the trail back up to our parking space, I found a great specimen of Harvest Brodiaea that I overlooked on the way down. Again, the early morning light made this one especially beautiful. Onward to points south - coffee, chile relleno, and bookstores.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
So, the signs on the outskirts of Point Arena gave me mixed feelings. Click on each one if necessary to read them. I pretty much agreed with the sentiments which I considered a sign (pun) of an improved social climate compared to what I experienced when I taught there for a year back around 1979. I remember the town as a place of conflict between three main cultures - sheep ranchers and other agriculture traditionalists, Native Americans from the nearby Manchester rancheria, and more recently arrived New-Age types (AKA Hippies) moving up the coast from SF area. Interestingly, a popular book at the time by a local author was titled "Can You Survive Your Escape." Well, I'm happy to report that many people apparently did. There were several really nice new shops including an amazing bakery, the waterfront was interesting with shops and a relatively new pier, and practically no roadside litter. I plan to go back to Point Arena and spend more time in that area. Meanwhile, enjoy the signs.