Springtime visitors

I didn’t see a great variety of vernal pool flowers when I visited Phoenix Park last Tuesday, but the aptly named Goldfields are blanketing the depressions, accentuated by a few pale pink Checkermallow. I also noticed (but didn’t photograph) quite a lot of yellow Fiddleneck and Butter ‘n eggs, and the small invasive pink-purple Filaree are literally everywhere. My personal […]

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Turkey trot

I’ve seen so many turkeys strolling around this part of town for such a long time that these days I normally don’t bother photographing them anymore. But when a flock comes wandering down my street and stops right in front of my house, I can’t resist. Even though these big birds are now an all-too-common sight, it’s still a great […]

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Lark Sparrow

This colorful sparrow is a new discovery for me, although they seem to live in the area year round. Both the male and female have similar markings. I found these while hiking around Peninsula Campground on the east shore of Folsom Lake.

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The far shore

It takes roughly an hour to make the long, winding drive from our house out to Peninsula Campground at Folsom Lake, although sometimes it feels more like half the day. The last 11.5 miles take you along a twisting one-lane road full of blind corners; I’ve had more than one close call when someone came rocketing toward me, using the […]

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Trail cam

Many times when I’m hiking a dirt trail I have to control a serious impulse to stop every few feet and shoot pictures both ahead and behind me. That’s especially true if I’m walking through a peaceful woodland, if the trail is surrounded by greenery and wildflowers, or if it’s so full of curves, switchbacks, and punishing hills that it […]

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Swimmer

Hiking above the shoreline of Folsom Lake near Salmon Falls on April 2, I noticed this guy standing on a rock, and I just knew he was about to dive in. He may not have been the first swimmer of the season, but he had to be right up there on the list! But that wasn’t the only thing that […]

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Hiking through history

It seems like nearly every time I go hiking at Folsom Lake lately I run into discarded pieces of history; I’m aware of the story behind some of them, but others remain mysterious. The other day I persuaded the Big Guy to return to the New York Creek/Salmon Falls area, and while he managed to find a few bass, I […]

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A Swallowtail story

I got the chance to learn something about the all-too-brief lives of California Pipevine Swallowtails last Friday while hiking along the south fork of the American River at Folsom Lake. It was amazing how these beautiful butterflies were literally everywhere around me, on just about every wildflower. The California Pipevine is a rare subspecies of the Pipevine Swallowtail, found only […]

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