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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Over Dale... and Home Again

Avenue of the Giants

Shortest visit to Crescent City ever, but better short than not at all.

For my drive home I hit the spots I missed on the way north, driving through Prairie Creek Redwoods where I took a short hike hit the visitor center. Then it was on through the Avenue of the Giants, under the shade of the redwood giants.

Estuary along Highway 101

Elk in the Mist

Tule or Roosevelt Elk?

While there I chatted with a cyclist who had biked his way down from Victoria, British Columbia, on his way south to Baja California. Yikes! Amazing what people do for fun. I know my friend Don would love to do that sort of thing some day, myself, I'd rather be shot and spared the effort. I'd be willing to drive from B.C. to Baja; does that count?

I drove south to Ukiah, then headed East on HWY 20, taking the scenic route through Bear Valley. Last year Bear Valley was spectacular.

Bear Valley Ranch

The first thing I spotted were totally adorable round, yellow flowers that hung like little balls from their stems. They grew along the hillside like diamonds in rubble.

My photo of a Golden Fairy Lantern

Love how round the Golden Fairy Lantern's are

This year it was pretty, but not on par with the vistas of wildflowers like last year. Still I saw enough pretty views to satisfy.

One of Few Wildflower Vistas in Bear Valley for 2010
Don't forget to click on photos for a better look

Yellow stripe of Goldfield flowers in distance
click to see the deep blue Larkspur peppered around the meadow

My visit took place after several of the flower species had called it a day, folding their pleasures and closing shop for the day; Cream Cups, some poppies and others.

Not Too Shabby for a 'bad' year, eh?
I have never seen so many blue Larkspur in my life!

One of the few patches I could find for 2010

Not terrifically showy, but new to me: poofy Cream Sacs

In reflection, it's strange how wildflowers worship just sort of snuck up on me in the past year. When I was a student I had friends who were dotty about wildflower & plants. Non of their zeal registered with me. But perhaps last year being a bumper crop year for wildflowers is what triggered me to suddenly care. I mean, up until last year I took photos of flowers but wouldn't have dreamed of driving anywhere to look at them. Maybe it's just nice having wildflowers to gawk at when my feathered quarry aren't cooperative. What's next? Dragonflies? Uh... NO.

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