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Impromptu Road Trip - The art of Thornwolf
thornwolf
thornwolf
Impromptu Road Trip
skorzy had to take an impromptu trip up to Burlingame so I tagged along. We took the scenic route back along highway 1, then cut across eastward.

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We drove down the coastal route through Big Sur
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At this point we saw a wild California Condor! I didn't get a good photo of it unfortunately, but it was flying next to some turkey vultures...it looked like a 747 in comparison! My first wild condor sighting and I hadn't even expected to see one :D

Then we cut across through a military base to go eastward. Want pristine landscapes? Give the land to the military. Seriously lots of this area was virtually untouched and incredibly picturesque. It was here we hoped to see the Yellow Billed Magpie which only inhabits a specific part in California and is found nowhere else in the world.

But the road to get there from the coast was a bit scary: steep cliffs, no guard rails.
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Some of the type of scenery you can expect on this drive
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Unconcerned deer is unconcerned
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We came through some really moist areas with redwoods and loads of plants and creeks. Unfortunately with all of this beauty comes a danger: Poison Oak! It was /everywhere/, and even though I have lived in California my whole life I still have a hard time identifying it amongst other floor covering. skorzy kindly gave me a crash course in poison oak identification.

Leaves of three, let it be. Avoid Avoid!
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Plant identification time! We saw lots of this plant in the more shaded areas of the hillsides and it grew in really stout bushes along the rocky sides of the road and had peach flowers. Peach, not yellow. Anyone have any idea what it is?
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This is an odd looking plant I've never seen before. I snapped this photo when we were on our poison oak hunt.
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Finally, our hunt for the yellow-billed magpie paid off. These really aren't very shy birds but they move around a lot so it was hard to get photos of them with a camera that doesn't have very good zoom.
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Headed eastward still
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Just as it got dark we passed through Cholame and saw the James Dean memorial.
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That's all folks!
14 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
cesarin From: cesarin Date: June 12th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
that tree on the 4th photo plus the valley forests and plains are beautiful! :>
doc_halfmoon From: doc_halfmoon Date: June 12th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very, very, very nice!!! Those hills remind me of my 'beloved' Spain ;) BTW, Looks like a very interesting trip! Unfortunately I'm not good with plants and birds, but if you give some kind of building or architecture I'll surely recognize it! XD
iisaw From: iisaw Date: June 12th, 2010 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Isn't California the best!

The odd-looking plant is Miner's Lettuce. It's actually good to eat and has lots of vitamins and such. Tastes more like spinach than lettuce, IMHO.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: June 12th, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow thanks for the plant identification! I have never heard of such a thing and given that I found it alongside (but not touching) some poison oak I certainly didn't want to touch it, and certainly didn't think it was edible.

Learn something new everyday :D
shimmerhawk From: shimmerhawk Date: June 12th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, so pretty. I've never been to California so these are fun to see. And I love that odd plant, whatever it is!
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: June 12th, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
According to iisaw it is "Miner's Lettuce" and is edible! Huh, wouldn't have thought :D
dustmeat From: dustmeat Date: June 13th, 2010 12:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I do miss that area.
reyfox From: reyfox Date: June 13th, 2010 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Funny how a yellow bill can make a regular magpie seem like a tropical bird.
pac From: pac Date: June 13th, 2010 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)
i miss california :C
danielcoon From: danielcoon Date: June 13th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful! I'm hoping to make it out that way this fall.
frostfur From: frostfur Date: June 13th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah California, how I miss you so T_T

Awesome pics, btw :D
krigulv From: krigulv Date: June 13th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
That first plant is sticky monkey flower, pretty sure! Science name escapes me, but the flowers are pretty tasty! The leaves are sticky on the underside and can be used to cover minor wounds! Fun!
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: June 14th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow thanks for the identification! I had no idea. Heavens, between that and the miners lettuce I had no idea that there were such helpful plants in the area.
krigulv From: krigulv Date: June 14th, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interestingly enough, there are oodles of awesome plants in California! Nature's apothecary!
14 comments or Leave a comment