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Barham Ranch Ramblings

February 21, 2011

Yesterday afternoon on the “new and improved” Chutes trail (since I’m not a big fan of bull-dozed trails I will refrain from passing judgment…oh wait…I just did…) revealed deer, wildflowers, and slanting golden light to warm the chilly air.

This image of four mule deer on a hillside (burned to bare earth almost exactly four years ago in the Windy Ridge fire) was taken across an arroyo from the trail I was on, with my little camera at 16x (full power) zoom in low light. It’s my version of a “Where’s Waldo” picture:

Some of the flowers in bloom included Purple Nightshade (Solanum xanti?), Wild Hyacinth (Dichelostemma capitatum), Parry’s Phacelia (Phacelia parryi), Common Phacelia (Phacelia distans), a couple of lupines, including Stinging Lupine (Lupinus hirsutissimus), Common Fiddleneck (Amsinckia menziesii), and Wild Cucumber (Marah macrocarpus).

The “light was right” for a few portraits:

I’m not sure if the name “stinging lupine” is accurate, because I’m not about to grab one of these prickly beauties.

Fiddleneck the flower…looks like fiddleneck, the violin part.

This is the time of year Wild Cucumber climbs and sprawls wherever it can. The fruit sure don’t remind me of cucumbers, though…

And a nice barefoot stroll through Santiago Creek at sunset on my way back to my car parked at Irvine Regional Park.

There’s a celebration of Barham Ridge coming up on March 5…I guess to publicize the new trails that the mini-bulldozers have been busy carving out of the hills the last few months. I’m siding with the grumpies who begrudge change…I loved the rutted and narrow single-tracks that I’ve been wandering the last 14 years. One person’s “progress” is another one’s destruction of intermediate mariposa lily habitat…

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