Saturday, February 20, 2016

Flowers 'n Stuff

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I'd love to shoot this at sunset, but I'm such a morning person. In all these years I've probably been on Mt. Tam at sunset a half-dozen times. I'm sure a lot of people are just the opposite, and it's definitely great to be up there when a colorful sunset goes off. I'd like to have a lot more callas in bloom when I finally check the sunset shot off my bucket list.

I'd hoped to find shooting stars, and there were just a couple in bloom. I'm sure there are many more at lower elevations. The flower on the left is so fresh its anthers haven't changed to blue yet.

I also spotted a very few telltale spots of pink in the forest and was glad to see my first calypso orchids of the year. Like the shooting stars, they are only just beginning to bloom.

Shooting stars, coming in at an angle.

It was a day for macro photography. I saw the colorful madrone leaf on the ground some distance away and walked toward it thinking it was something man-made. As a bonus, I found it near some pristine moss with no douglas fir needles in it.

California native people used to eat the almond-sized bulbs of these orchids, but I've always resisted doing so myself, not wanting to sacrifice a plant. I finally decided to give it a try though and found it bland with just a slightly bitter tang, and not terribly mucilagenous.

This is a fairly large fruiting of bear's head fungus. This is another wild edible that I have yet to try. I rarely remember to bring wax paper bags with me to collect anything I might find while shooting pictures. I don't really have extra room in the camera pack anyway. Another item for the bucket list.

I enjoyed just slowly stalking around the wet woods and dewy meadows, seeing whatever I might find. The wet season is my favorite time of year on Mt. Tam, and I've resented the long drought for taking that away from me. Days like today, once taken for granted, are now savored.

I know it's been a good morning when I head home with soaking wet knees.

In contrast to the mossy garden, a tapestry of rock and scattered lichen.

Veins and cracks in the serpentine.

I looked for more oak leaf critters like I found on my last visit, but there were none to be found.

My final stop was with a crowded inflorescence of hound's tongue waiting to spring into action.

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