Hopeful

Last weekend we had a wildland fire that started and followed a path that took it through many areas of beautiful, scenic country. While not quite as majestic as the higher elevations, the lower Sierra-Nevada foothills have their own sense of peace and beauty and I truly enjoy visiting them. I was sad when I learned that the fire had burned through many of these areas. Please stay safe this weekend and enjoy life. Stay healthy everyone.

Mule Ears-Again

The post for this week is wild or blooming flowers. I posted a field of Mule Ears a few weeks ago, and this is a closeup of a single plant. Most are now done blooming for the year and spreading their seeds for next year. They really are a pretty little plant . I hope you have an enjoyable weekend and can stay out of the heat. Make sure to drink lots of fluids.

Yellow Swallowtail

I am posting this in honor of Butterfly Days in our local community of Mariposa Ca. A group of Spanish explorers named a small creek Mariposa Creek after they found large swarms of butterflies around the areas where the creek flowed. A settlement followed next to the creek and adopted the name. The Spanish word for butterfly is Mariposa and the area still has lots of butterflies. Mariposan’s honor their namesake by devoting a weekend filled with festivities, art’s and crafts, music, good food and the release of hand-raised butterflies. Enjoy your weekend and stay healthy. Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July

Mule Ears….

Mule Ears as they are affectionately called in our mountain communities because of their large spear shaped leaves, are very common in the fields along the sides of the roads at this time of year. It is a member of the Aster family and is found primarily in the mountains and foothills of the Sierra Nevada. They are very photogenic because of their coloring and size but are one of the last plants to bloom in this area. Have a wonderful weekend and stay cool and healthy.

Last Hunt of the Day

I was headed back to my house after a sunset shoot and it was almost dark when I spotted this beauty in a tall dead pine tree. It ignored me for awhile and let me take a few quick shots before finding another perch. I am sure it was looking for its last meal of the day before I interrupted it. I believe it is a juvenile red tail, light morph, a recent fledgling. But feel free to correct me. Have a great weekend. Stay cool and stay healthy!

Bachelor Buttons

Like a lot of our wildflowers in this this area, I see these guys blooming in select areas of our county. And this year, because of the drought, they have been rather sparse. Called a Bachelor Button, I sometimes see them in different colors such as pink, purple and white, but primarily they are this striking blue.. The Honey Bee was indeed busy visiting all of the surrounding blooms. During the spring and summer I incorporate a lot of floral photography along with the accompanying insects into my portfolio simply because I love wildflowers and there are so many up here. One of my goals is to identify as many as possible. Mother Nature always provides a wonderful sample of everything available in a particular area. Enjoy your weekend and stay healthy!

Something A Little Different.

While driving by a neighborhood pond this small piece of natural sculpture caught my eye. Thinking I might have found a new variety of flora I stopped to investigate it further. It was almost dark but my camera view showed me something that looked interesting so I too some shots hoping for a non-shaky picture and I was happy with the results. It is a wild wheat grass stalk with what I believe is a feather caught on it. I thought it looked kind of cool. Enjoy your day and stay healthy

Blue Fiesta Flower

This picture is from two years ago after a very wet winter. I found this pretty little bush growing along a creek in the southern part of the county. It caught my eye because of the color and the fact that it was a bit unexpected. One just doesn’t run across a lot of colorful wild flowers in those parts of the county unless there has been a lot o rain.. Wildflower blooming depends on so many variables and rainfall is one, and this year has been extremely dry. So wildflowers have been a bit of a challenge this year! Enjoy your weekend and stay healthy.

Delphinium Wildflower

These are the delicate little blooms of the quite pretty Ranunculacea variety of Delphinium. It appears to be much smaller than it’s dark purple cousin that is more common in our area. Unfortunately both varieties are quite toxic and can be deadly if ingested by livestock such as cattle, sheep, horses and other grazing animals. It grows wild in our county and can be a bane to ranchers. Have a wonderful day and stay healthy.

Dogwood

Every spring I try to get out to take pictures of the Dogwood. This year instead of focusing on Yosemite, I decided to look in some of the areas I have been exploring this past year, the Sierra National Forest. I came across this gorgeous specimen. It was located in a valley that was densely shaded and moist. A couple of ray’s of sunlight managed to break through the canopy and provide the perfect lighting for this young bloom. Dogwoods add beauty to wherever they chose to call home. Have a Wonderful Mother’s Day. Stay happy and healthy.