In my wanderings on a rainy day last week I encountered an area along a creek in a very narrow canyon where the rocks and cliffs were simply covered with moss and lichens. I personally know very little about most lichens, but thought someone might be interested in seeing them and so I am posting the following photos with no narrative except a possible identification of two of the lichen species.
And a member of the Saxifrage family that I have seen before but just now identified.
Peak Saxifrage, Micranthes nidifica
Soon after these photos were take it began to snow…. hard! Five hours later and after about five inches of heavy, wet snow it looked like this:
After taking the previous photo I headed back to the house, then instead of going in, decided to hike down near the river and perhaps get an interesting photo in the storm. On the way, about a quarter of a mile from the house I heard a loud crack and looked toward the sound just in time to see a large dead pine tree fall across the highway. I headed straight for it to stop and direct traffic and perhaps remove enough of the tree to permit traffic flow. There was too much tree on the road, but a pickup stopped and two men got out to help, leaving their truck with flashers on to block the lane that was completely blocked by the tree. I jogged back to the house for my chain saw while they directed traffic. When I returned it took just a few minutes for the three of us to cut enough of the tree to clear the roadway and get traffic moving again. I’m glad the tree didn’t wait until dark to fall!
In today’s steady rain, a couple of miles up Buffalo Bill Creek, the only “sunshine” I saw was this brightly colored lichen. Its yellow color is derived from two poisonous substances, pinastric and vulpinic acids which occur only in lichens and are thought to deter grazing by insects and other invertebrates. Pretty, isn’t it!
On April 18th in 2008 I found a place along the Munson Creek trail where Trilliums abound and I’ve visited that place on April 18th every year since. Usually they are in full bloom but today, although they were plentiful, they have just begun their bloom and the flowers are quite small. At that elevation (3,400 feet) small patches of snow still remain on the ground. After photographing a few of the trilliums I hiked on up the trail to 4,100 feet where winter is still in full season and spring is still in the future.
Western White trillium, Pacific Trillium, Wake Robin, Birthroot, Trillium Ovatum
Yesterday in my wanderings I noticed an early blooming bluebell but I had left my camera at home. I thought it might be of interest to post a photo of the flower and another of the place where it is growing and so today The Pointer and I took our walk in that area again, this time with the camera, hoping to find the flower and we did; in the middle of a very nice (and very wet) spring snowstorm.
The bluebell and a whole lot of buttercups live in a sunny spot on this little open ridge just before it slopes down to the stream bottom to the left.
Small Bluebells, Long-flower Bluebells, Mertensia longiflora