Waiting for the bloom

Just when I started to think that winter was over and spring weather had arrived, we had a couple more storms move through our area and drop a fair amount of rain. That’s good news for the vernal pools and the creatures that call them home. It also means that the flowers that burst out from around the pools aren’t […]

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Memory Monday, Week 142

I’m so impatient to dive into my 1980s slides that I haven’t really taken the time to put them in chronological order. Or any other kind of order, to be honest. So I may still have a few late 1970s shots sneaking in now and then, like this week. The easiest way to tell the difference? The length of my […]

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Wooly Mullein

Common mullein, also known as wooly mullein, is a common sight throughout the Folsom Lake State Recreation area. It’s an invasive weed that originally came from Europe, North Africa, and Asia. They tend to like open areas where the ground has been disturbed, and seeds can germinate even after many years of lying dormant — in fact, reading through my […]

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California Missions, Part 6

Today, besides more photos of details around Mission La Purisíma Concepción I’m sharing a couple of views from Mission San Diego de Alcalá (featured in last Wednesday’s post. I don’t have any old slide images from Mission San Juan Capistrano (featured in last Wednesday’s post), but wanted to note the virtual event happening today — a celebration of the St. Joseph’s Day and the annual return of the swallows.

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Return to the marsh

It’s been nearly two years since I was able to visit Anderson Marsh at Clear Lake and walk the trails, and my visit last week offered a stark example of how even a slight change in weather patterns affects the plant and animal life in vital habitats like creeks and marshes. It looks like we may be heading back into another drought year — although I’m still remaining hopeful that our latest round of storms will help. On my previous visit, in May 2019, everything was fresh and green. The inlets of Cache Creek were full; I photographed turtles sunning themselves on logs and crawdads scurrying around underwater. This time, I found evidence of a recent prescribed burn and the inlets were parched and bare. I did see a good number of birds as I hiked along — including a pair of Valley Quail foraging along the sides of the dry creek bed.

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