Saturday, June 23, 2018

Mill Creek Trail, III

 Third installment of last weekend's photos from our hike on the Mill Creek Trail.  I'm having one of those rare spaces in my schedule in which I go downtown for the faster Internet so I can load photos.  I've now posted about five sets without text, or with minimal text, and repeated my promise to catch up on composing text at home where not much bandwidth is required. The young Corn Lily above looked particularly fresh and stood out in its environment.  There's lots of Corn Lily and Bracken Fern along this section of the trail, so I can hardly wait for them to flower and produce spores respectively.  Will probably pay another visit some time mid-week.

It's only Monday, but here I am again near good WiFi.  As I review these photos and contemplate text to add, I realize that sometimes on a "nature" walk, I'm in the frame of mind of a scientific explorer and/or teacher, so when I see the Corn Lily, I want to share the scientific name, Veratrum californicum and Family Liliaceae.  At other times, I'm in more of an artistic mood and am simply responding to the beauty of what I see.  The above Corn Lily caught me responding to its freshness.  It was a young one, long before flowering, and it seemed pure, unassailed by insects or people, and it was easy to isolate it from its surroundings for a good photo.  Many days later, I'm thinking more in terms of names, classifying, and contemplating relationships.  As later explained in this post, some lilies are no longer lilies.
Looking at this next flower from above, the notched petals and leave arrangement had me thinking Caryophyllaceae, the Carnation family, but honestly, when I was there, the words "carnation" and "pink" came to me first.  Now I wish I had tipped the flower to the side to see if the bracts beneath the flower had the tell-tale shape of that family.
This fallen white fir log had some sizable woodpecker holes, but I don't know woodpecker species by their nesting holes.  I do know this log will soon be soil and that its role in the cycles of life is what makes it beautiful to me.
After a winter of not looking at flowers, I get rusty, so this White-veined Wintergreen (above) in Family Ericaceae, is easily confused with a somewhat similar-looking orchid known as Rattlesnake plantain..
Here's the lily that is no longer a lily.  Formerly in the genus Brodiaea and Family Liliaceae, it is pne of the many species of former Brodiaeas that have been reassigned to different genera and families.  It's hard to keep up, but I believe this one is now known as Golden Brodiaea, Triteleia ixiodes in Family Themidaeae.  Brodiaea will probably last as a popular name, and even as a scientific name for some species.
This is my most questionable ID in this series.  Feel free to correct me.  Mustang Clover, Linanthus montanus, Family Polemoniaceae, the same family that includes the more familiar Phlox.
The root structure of this tree at the lakeshore intrigued me, but I didn't think to look up, or to check needles and cones on the ground, but considering elevation and the look of the bark, I think it's Lodgepole Pine, Pinus contorta.
In the Mallow family, Malvaceae, we have two widespread species.  This one is commonly known as Checker Bloom, or Sidalcea glaucescens.
I saw a little rise in the ground cover of pine and fir needles and suspected a mushroom about to emerge.
I gave it a little help and verified my hunch.  I don't know the type.
We came across a huge bunch of Jeffrey Pine cones on the ground, probably resulting from a recent gust of wind.  Much larger and less prickly than the cones of Ponderosa Pine. I included my pocket comb for scale.  My next installment from the Mill Creek Trail may or may not include technical info for the scientific types among my readers.  It will depend on how I feel when I review the remaining photos.

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