On your feet! March 2016 (so to speak)
One of the walks we took last week was on the canal trail, so we could see if the Ladybug Beetles were still all in a cluster, as we saw a month ago (click here). The evidence is in -- yes, many are present, but they're much more active and not as bunched together. As the days warm, I suspect the ladybugs will "fly away home."
They seemed mighty interested in each other, too!
On Wednesday, March 2nd, we made a break for it, taking ourselves down to the Buttermilk Bend Trail, which runs alongside the wild and scenic South Yuba River at Bridgeport (site of the longest covered bridge in the world). Wednesday was the perfect day to be Out and About, pleasant and sunny, and in advance of major heavy rains which would begin that night ... and last a week. Kind of a now or never proposition to enjoy an idyllic day out of the house. It was cool when we left home, so we wore long sleeves and jeans, but it was warm when we got to the park (lower elevation), and we wished one more time that we'd dressed for our destination not our home base. One of these days! Flowing with snow melt, it made us appreciate the river's cool air currents!
It may not look like much, but there's a lot of icy, crystal-clear water ripping downstream.
A lot more water than we've seen in a long time.
The yearly spring explosion of wildflowers is beginning along this peaceful path.
Golden California Poppies are widespread already.
A bench to rest on, a river to watch, make it easy to simply stop.
Look like a big puddle? It isn't. While the clear water isn't very deep here, the current is racing!
I saw big trout down there.
Jimmy is leaning against a prize-winner -- no other boulder nearby could compare.
We ate our lunch in its shade. Up close like this, the river's roar was very loud.
End of the trail, huh? Most people, us included, don't believe such signs. We continued on the well-trod path beyond the sign, and just around the corner, the trail abruptly ends with a 25' drop-off. The end, you betcha! We were already well out of the state park boundary at this point, so I'm guessing we hiked two miles each way, give or take a few feet. Much of Buttermilk Bend Trail would be handicapped accessible.
Off to the right of the picture, French Corral Creek sent a cascade down the mountain.
First time we've seen that.
Larkspur was interspersed with Blue Dicks and Poppies.
Clouds were moving after we turned around, for which we were grateful, but a harbinger of storms to come.
How long has this poor ol' tree been down? At one time it held many Acorn Woodpecker meals.
Five Spot (Nemophila maculata). Aptly named, don't you think?
We saw several clumps of Sierra Iris (Iris hartwegii).
Built in 1862, the undisputed longest-span wooden covered bridge continues to be worked on, stabilized and restored. It's still closed to foot traffic, but we hope someday to walk across it. On the other side of the bridge is a "nice swimming hole," for those who don't care about cold water. I'm told that in the heat of summer, the cool water feels good. So far I wouldn't know!
This barn was built in the early 1860's. "It served several functions: Animal stalls and pens, hay storage in the loft, storage of farm equipment, and repair of wagons passing through on the Virginia Turnpike." The upper right photo on the signboard (above) shows the barn looking exactly the same as we see it today. Now it houses an interpretative exhibit area of transportation through Bridgeport, historic wagons, hay press and etc.
This is one very fine state park, which lots to see and do for anyone, all ages. We love coming here. Maybe we'll return in between storms to see how the river looks in spate. We've enjoyed March so far!