A nice spring stroll ... Sunday, 4/24/16
This was one of those days when Jimmy and I looked at each other and said, "What would YOU like to do today?" Neither of us had a specific agenda; our yard waste bin was full-to-overflowing, so no yard work was in the works. That's when we both agreed to a hike (actually it's just a long walk) on the upper canal trail; it would be just what we wanted (or needed).
Nevada City (indeed, most of NorCal) rec'd a healthy dose of rain on Friday (about an inch-and-a-half here, hooray!), so we had to dodge a few large puddles. Temp was in the mid-50's when we started out and it may have maxed at 58. The sky was on/off clouds ... one of those zip/unzip the down vest as we were in/out of the warm sun. A fresh little breeze lent a bit of nip to the air. Kinda nice hiking weather.
Some slugs make it across the path. The really slow ones lay in a squished oozy mess.
In all the times we've walked these canal trails, we've never seen ducks on the water. Fish in the water, yes, and dogs, too, but seeing Mr and Mrs Mallard was a first. We surprised each other.
I find it fascinating that delicate Starflowers (Trientalis latifolia) we saw trailside today we also encountered along trails in Newfoundland a few years ago, thousands of miles away. Lovely to see many wildflowers blooming by the path right now.
Wow! We've never seen so much water here. Looks like there's no crossing this stream without boots, unless you want a soaker. We chose the high road. Nice hearing rushing water as you walk.
I saw several of these: Spearleaf Agoseris (Agoseris retrorsa) (interesting name). When I looked it up in my wildflower book, the comment was: "Some men can identify with the leaves of this plant, which start out hairy, but tend to lose most of their hair with age." Hah!
With the rain two days ago and the winter rain preceding, green was definitely the predominant color, especially these vibrant spring greens! Good news -- no dust on the path today!
Fragrant California Lilac was covered in bees and flies.
I don't believe I've ever seen a Scarlet Fritillary (Fritillaria recurva) before and this was the only one visible today. Funny how you can walk three miles in one direction, then turn around and walk three miles back on the same path in the other direction and see totally different or all new things. It's like a whole new world!
Yellow Cat's Ear (Calochortus monophyllus). So pretty!
When my sister and I (and Jimmy) walked near the South Yuba River last fall, we remarked on the gorgeous yellow leaf color of trees we didn't instantly recognize, tho we guessed maple family. They were Bigleaf Maple or Oregon Maple (Acer macrophyllum), a deciduous, kinda stumpy tree. Look, Nannie -- here it is in spring! In flower!
Sierra Iris (Iris hartwegii) -- little bloomers.
Draping over the canal is a new raspberry cane. Quite a few grow near the water and some produce sweet berries. I hope I'm around when the fruit ripens and the bears don't beat me to the pickins'!
We were hungry and after six miles, our feet were tired when we got home (2 o'clock). I forgot the granola bars and they were still on the counter, right where I left them. (Hey, I can't remember everything!) But, it's an easy path to be on, relatively flat, and you can set your own pace. We greeted several bikers and met a few walkers, even runners, today. One of the guys riding a bike called out, "Hey, it's a good day to be doing anything today, except to be inside!" He was right.