Tiny, gorgeous fork-tailed (I think) bush katydid nymph on California poppy, chez-nous.
This young creature is backing verrrry slowwwly away from yours truly. =)
Got a twitter-heads up that "mares tails" were in the Mariposa county sky,
so I looked out the window:
They're lonnnnng, thin clouds
(streaky left-to-right thing, not the vertical contrail).
And this one had a rainbow in it. BONUS.
The garden is underwhelming this year (I'm being very stingy with water),
but these pea flowers really do have the golden sparkles you can see, here.
It's one of the few things our local Anna's hummingbird gets excited about in my garden.
I need more flowers, next year.
I'll have to make additional drought tolerant, flowering plants happen.
Maybe next year the (very drought-tolerant) pomegranates I planted will bloom?
And the baby California roses? Maybe? Crossing fingers. =)
Hiking to Lukens Lake in Yosemite, recently,
we happened upon a family of
one of my favorite & most rarely-seen birds: mountain quail.
Can you see them atop the log?
Adults have exclamation points atop their heads (v. Calif. quail have commas).
And cropped again. Such a stunning bird, jeepers.
Crap photos, but I was thrilled.
A stunning bird with a haunting call that can
send a chill up your spine when you're hiking in the forest.
The ever-picturesque Lukens Lake. A super easy hike, even at ~ 8,000 feet in elevation.
Note smoke on horizon, from the Rough Fire.
At the lake, I ogled this beautiful snag.
I have a thing for dead trees...
I love how 'neath the bark is what looks like
a mysterious language scrawled into the tree.
What does it say?!?
I wanna know.
Sat at the edge of Lukens lake with dozens of blue damselflies.
Sharpest shot I got (via my non-telephoto lens):
Such gorgeous animals, jeepers.
A favorite plant, California corn lily (Veratrum californicum).
See the little damselfly, center right, resting on a leaf?
Most of the corn lily was past blooming,
but this one, in the shade by the lake, was still going.
There were numerous happy bees merrily visiting these flowers.
Recently, in Tuolumne county, I was later to a work site than I'd planned, due to a traffic jam.
They had a bunch of cows & their young on the road. Poor creatures sounded stressed.
It took several men & horses, a dog & lots of yelling & arm-waving to get the job done.
Finally, cattle off the road, I drove past slowly, stealing a shot of this horse & its super fit bod.
Check out that crazy butt. This was back in August,
so you probably want to be lean in that heat
(daily over 100F in central CA).
Horses are SO beautiful (IMHO), I find it confusing.
Why do they affect us this way (from an evolutionary perspective)?
Did we co-evolve with them, so a desire to have horses could be selected for?
Or have we just selectively bred them to increase what we consider attractive traits?
Last, but not least, a tiny conservation vignette,
and why I may never accompany DH to this golf course again.
This sign calls the vineyards an "ecologically sensitive area."
Biobabbler's head exploded when she read this.
The quotation marks definitely indicate sarcasm, to me, in this case.
The baby vines are in the white tubes, in front of the mature vines (green in the background).
I never golf ('cause Imma conservation biologist), but I accompany DH and look at birds.
However, I used to love this course 'cause it had
large stretches of native California habitat in it
(vs. an entirely transformed, non-native landscape).
This is very unusual for golf courses in California.
But, this summer all those native spaces were razed and converted to vineyards.
Vineyards are crawling across California,
taking out so much of California's remaining, unique native habitats,
it is a serious source of habitat destruction.
For something we do not need to survive.
And who knows how much water they are using?
Yours truly doing fieldwork in California habitat.
Thinking deep thoughts. =)
Therefore, I've decided will not drink California wine, pretty much as of now.
I'm sure this decision won't be felt by the wine industry,
but I cannot reward this behavior (by giving them my money)
and feel OK about how I'm living my life.
So, thank you, darling peeps, for letting me express this.
I feel better, now.