Least Mouse-tail

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Least mouse-tail (Myosurus minimus) is a tiny wildflower found in drying vernal pools. Although the flower of overlapping pistils surrounded at the base by stamens and sepals (petals often missing) resembles that of a plantain, least mouse-tail is a member … Continue reading

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Early Spring Wildflowers – I

Beckwith's Violet

Beckwith’s Violet

One of the earliest spring wildflowers in soggy sagebrush flats is Beckwith’s violet (Viola beckwithii). This lavender and purple violet is characterized by its divided leaves that look fern-like. These Beckwith’s violets were growing near County Road 91 north of Lookout CA (Modoc County).

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Another Barn Owl Brood

Barn Owl and Chick

Barn Owl and Chick

Nearly forty years ago when Leonard re-roofed our barn he hung an old galvanized bucket high in the rafters. Every year since a pair of barn owls (Tyto alba) has raised a brood in the bucket. A couple times no young owls fledged, while in other years as many as five have grown to maturity. The first 2015 owlet appears to have hatched shortly before I checked the nest yesterday. I wonder how many eggs there are? Leonard and I are happy to have another barn owl family.

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Acrobatic Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis) are acrobatic little birds that, like all nuthatches, creep headfirst down tree trunks. They never seem to stop moving. White-breasted nuthatches are less gregarious than other nuthatches and are typically found singly or in pairs. This white-breasted nuthatch was foraging for insects near Crystal Lake (Shasta County CA).

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Yellow Canary Violet

Canary Violet

Canary Violet

The earliest spring wildflowers are finally blooming. Canary violets (Viola praemorsa), with their deep yellow color, brighten the still-dull landscape. Identified by the hairy, oval leaves and brown-purple veins on their lower petals, canary violets have many common names including Nuttall’s violet.

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Flock of Sapsuckers

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

A flock of red-breasted sapsuckers (Sphyrapicus ruber) were at Baum Lake (Shasta County CA) today.

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Snow Plants – Saprophytes

Snow Plants

Snow Plants

Flowering immediately after the snow clears (although this winter we had very little snow), bright red snow plants (Sarcodes sanguinea) are saprophytes. These snow plants were growing in the shady, deep humus of a ponderosa pine stand next to Eagle Lake (Lassen County CA).

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