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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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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Farmhouse revisited

I’ve visited Anderson Marsh State Historic Park a few times now, usually during our springtime visits to Clear Lake. The park is located just off Highway 53 near the city of Clearlake. The old farmhouse was once part of a working ranch, and during normal times is often the scene of historic re-enactments and other events. Even though it was […]

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Lake County living

We just returned home after spending the last few days at Clear Lake, California’s largest freshwater lake. There are so many beautiful hiking trails in the area, most of which I’ve never visited yet; I also enjoy revisiting favorite spots like Anderson Marsh State Historic Park at the south end of the lake and Rodman Slough, at the north end. […]

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End of the road

There’s a pretty nice entrance into Folsom Lake State Recreation Area at the eastern end of Horseshoe Bar Road (Placer County) — but only if you’re on foot. There’s no parking allowed along the road’s shoulder and no lot for cars. That’s why I had never actually seen this area until the day I hiked the two or so miles […]

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Something extra

When I go hiking and looking for pictures, animals and lovely scenery are usually on the top of my list of things to shoot. But no matter how great my “big” landscape images may come out, I always tend to feelĀ  something is missing unless I find that little extra something as well. What it might be varies from trip […]

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Suburban back trails

I wanted to get out fairly early this morning, so I decided to stick close to home and chose the bluffs near the Nimbus Dam in Fair Oaks for my hike. It’s been quite awhile since I used these trails — at least two years. Today I was pleased with my choice because I saw very few other hikers. The […]

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