Woo-hoo Wednesday! May 20th

We may be prejudiced, but it's our opinion that the Nevada County Fairgrounds are some of the prettiest in the country.  It's one of our favorite places to walk, basically level, nicely shaded and landscaped.  A couple of times around the perimeter nets us lots of steps on the Fitbit.  The fairgrounds host a number of venues every year; the county fair in August is the biggest one.  In summer, its gates are open seven days a week to walkers and joggers ... and we often see young women with babies in strollers and tots on bikes, but the paths are never crowded. Plus, it's dog-friendly, too, with your pet on a leash.

Occasionally the fairgrounds are closed to walkers, like today.  Crews were setting up for the Strawberry Music Festival this weekend and pedestrians would have been a hazard.  Soooo ...

The "Gentle Giant" sculpture by Todd Andrews.  It is magnificent. 

And the large bushes covered with white flowers?  Look below.

Crimson Spot Rockrose (Cistus ladanifer)

... barred from the fairgrounds, and since we were in the mood for a walk and talk, we drove Smartie to our other favorite place to walk:  "our" canal path, choosing the upper section this time.  And we walked and we talked and we savored being outdoors on such a pretty day.  We put on a few miles today!  All our walks or hikes these days are on flat ground because of Jimmy's painful left knee.  He's back in the queue for a total knee replacement on June 10th, and we're keeping our fingers crossed that this third attempt will be the charm!  (He's had two postponements due to other circumstances.)

What a tree!  Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana) -- the largest species of pine.  This HUGE tree is my favorite on the trail (I call it My Friend). Jimmy is standing, I'm guessing, 20 or 30 feet from the trunk base and I'm almost around the bend, so to speak, taking this picture.  It's a beauty.

Enlarge the photo to see the pine cones.  The things are monsters.

 Pine Lupine (Lupinus albicaulis)

Insects were out in force today.

Blue Larkspur (Delphinium)

Fragrant like a lilac, but is it a lilac?  Kinda late in the season for lilacs ....

Enjoyable day, for sure.  No kidding!


  1. Your plan B worked out beautifully it seems. A tree that size would have to have giant cones ... lovely tree. And I love that sculpture at the fairgrounds.

  2. Hey, where is that grinning face......at?

    1. If you enlarge the second picture (twice, if possible), that silly face is in the rock just about under the G in Giant. Kind of hidden! Cool, huh?

  3. Love seeing some familiar sights through your eyes. We love that fairgrounds that you so generously pointed out to us. Also...many of the plants you are photographing in this post and the last post are plants I am familiar with from similar habitats clear up in northern Idaho. The rattlesnake plantain is what we called an "indicator" of a certain habitat type. Can you imagine being lucky enough to get paid to wander through the woods with a shovel and identify all the plants?! Yup that was me, of course the shovel meant that after documenting the plants I had to dig a hole 2 meters deep in those woods. Small price to pay for working alone in the mountains I would say.

    1. Ha -- beware of woman in the woods with shovel in hand! Agreed, it's a small price to pay for being in the mountains.


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