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Author Topic: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California  (Read 51983 times)

Robert

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2015, 12:05:42 AM »
Trond,

When the seasons change and you get a chance to get out, I would be very interested in the berries you gather to eat. I hope that might be possible. Perhaps there is much more of interest in your area too. I very much would like to see whatever you might be able to share. I'm not likely to visit Norge anytime soon, maybe another lifetime.   :'(  (There is so much on this planet to see!) I have lived in this area of California for close to 60 years and there is still much I have not seen.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
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Hoy

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2015, 07:13:33 AM »
The berry we prefer to gather for food (jam and frozen) is "molte" cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus). We also collect "tyttebær" Vaccinium vitis-idaea when we find enough for jam. Earlier we also always gathered "blåbær" Vaccinium myrtillus for making jam and juice, but now we mostly eat it at the spot. when I am out in fall I always suck the sap out of handfulls of "krekebær" Empetrum nigrum. It is one of the best to quench the thirst. "Blokkebær" Myrtillius uliginosum can be good but also insipid. Other berries are "teiebær" Rubus saxatilis, "bjørnebær" Rubus fruticosa (and other similar species) and "tranebær" Oxycoccus spp. The last one is best to eat in the spring when the snow melts, in the fall it is very acidic but very good for jelly. Tyttebær and tranebær doesn't rot as they contain a lot of benzoic acid (a very effective preservative).
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Robert

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2015, 01:44:04 PM »
Trond,

I definitely appreciate all the information in your last posting, including the names of the berries in the Norwegian language.

Today is a busy day as I hope to get out to Mosquito Ridge and Oxbow today. This is the portal to truly wild country as there is only one small, scarcely traveled road in, few trails, and still blanks on the maps, showing only a river and a few dirt roads on the ridges above. I did a survey of part of this country back in 2002, however there are other parts where I still have not investigated. Most of this country will have to wait until warmer weather as the elevation is higher and most of the plants should (?) still be dormant. With 2 million people in the greater Sacramento, California area I hope that is area can remain untouched. I am very worried about future human impact on this area.  :-\
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2015, 03:42:38 PM »
22 January 2015

Weather: Cloudy

Temperature - High:57F (14c)  Low:33F (.5c)



Today, I started a reconnaissance of the Middle Fork of the American River in the vicinity of Oxbow Reservoir. Here is a view from the top of the Forest Hill Divide at 3,184 ft. (970 meters) before descending into the canyon below.



On the way down I came across various stands of Knobcone Pine (Pinus attenuata). In places it appeared that they had hybridized with California Gray Pine (P. sabiniana). Something to check out on a follow up trip.



It is, more or less, 2,000 feet (610 meters) from the ridge tops to the river below and extremely steep. Very difficult terrain to get around in no matter the mode of transportation.



A look down to the Middle Fork as I was nearing Indian Bar.



At the bottom of the canyon near Indian Bar I took my first opportunity to hike around and check on the plants in the area. With limited time, I could only get a sampling of the vast flora in this region.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2015, 04:00:43 PM »


Here I found Polystichum munitum growing in shady areas. This species is abundant along the Pacific Coast and is seen less frequently inland.



Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), a species seen frequently at this elevation.



In shady areas Cardamine californica was in bloom. I'm not satisfied how this plant is keying out for me. In every way it looks as C. californica except one detail of the foliage. I'll stick with this name for right now.



Some of the plants had interesting purple and green foliage.



From this point I moved up the Rubicon River. In 2002 I did a survey of the flora on the opposite bank (north facing) from the confluence with the Middle Fork of the American River to Clyde Lake in Rockbound Valley where the river starts. Today, I was hoping to find a way across the river. There are acres of Erythronium multiscapoideum on the other bank at this elevation, as well as many other species of bulbs.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2015, 04:19:36 PM »
Having limited time and wanting to get a good overview of the area, I moved on up the ridge.



I was very surprised to find Ceanothus integerrimus (Deer Brush) in bloom. This was not one isolated plant, but a whole area up the ridge was in bloom. This is at least 2 months before their usual bloom time.



In the same area, Arctostaphylos viscida (Whiteleaf Manzanita) was blooming. Not so strange, but still a bit early for this elevation.



Farther up the ridge I found Garrya fremontii in bloom. I was very happy to find this species as it is not a common species and is quite attractive.



A look at the foliage.



I continued up the ridge toward Blacksmith Flat. With photographs it is difficult to show how wild and difficult to travel this area is. This is a photograph looking north towards the Middle Fork.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2015, 04:40:32 PM »


Wanting to make the best of my time, I returned down the ridge and traveled down stream to Oxbow Reservoir. I was hoping I could cross the river using the dam. No way, unless I wanted to deal with the razor wire and homeland security.  >:(   ::)



Traveling up another ridge, I took this photograph looking up the Middle Fork of he American River.



At this point time had run out and it was time to turn back toward home base. I had a few minutes so I raced up the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River to see what I might find.



A friendly reminder for those that are unfamiliar with the wildlife. This sign had been posted at the trailhead. One of the few trails in this area.

This turned out to be an excellent reconnaissance outing. Despite having limited time to get out and hike around, I still found an incredible number of species. In about 3 weeks when I will have more time, I will return to start a more complete survey of the flora, something that I'm sure will take several life times. I'm definitely in my element in this wild country and look forward to returning many times.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Maggi Young

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2015, 06:05:27 PM »
A good surprise to see so much flowering, Robert, especially the shrubs.
My heart beats faster just reading  this:   "There are acres of Erythronium multiscapoideum on the other bank at this elevation, as well as many other species of bulbs."   8)
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Robert

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2015, 12:54:24 AM »
Maggi,

The weather here has been very strange, with above average temperatures, and a return to extreme drought conditions. January traditionally has the highest rainfall totals for the year in our area. There is a possibility that we will have zero rainfall for January. This has never happened in our short rainfall history going back to 1877, or there about.  We are now going on 4 years of extreme drought. Our native plants are holding up surprisingly well. The warm wintertime weather seems to disrupt their usual cycle of growth and at this point it is uncertain to me how this will impact them. I suspect that our flora will adjust, just as the plants must have adjusted to other climate changes in the distant past.

I'm hoping to work both sides of the Rubicon River this season. I certainly want to share the sight of millions of Erythroniums blooming on the mountain side. I have never seen a sight like this in any part of California and I have seen a lot of California. If we could just get some rain and snow, there will be much more that is amazingly beautiful. There has been less impact from human activity in this area, so there is a remnant of our past flora hiding in these canyons. Some rain and snow will bright it all into bloom. Something I truly wish to share.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

ArnoldT

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #39 on: January 24, 2015, 01:17:05 PM »
Robert:

I've been enjoying your words and images.  Just wanted to say how much I appreciated the time you take to send this all in.

Arnold Trachtenberg
Leonia, New Jersey

Robert

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2015, 02:01:09 PM »
Robert:
I've been enjoying your words and images.  Just wanted to say how much I appreciated the time you take to send this all in.

Arnold,

Thank you so much for your comment. I have a mutual feeling of appreciation for your postings. I find the various species of Gladiolus  interesting and beautiful, especially ones that might be fragrant. You clearly have many great treasures growing in your greenhouse.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Hoy

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2015, 10:58:04 AM »
Robert,

I am not very surprised that some plants are in flower already where you live! When I look at your pictures it reminds me more of spring than winter (but maybe it shouldn't). Although we have had some sun the last days we also have had colder weather and before that rain and rain, nevertheless some plants are in flower. And I am a bit north of you.

Sorry for the drought you experience. Here it is opposite: The western mountains and valleys have gotten more snow than ever measured before at this time of the year. In the valleys it is about 2m at the ground, some places in the mountains it is more than 5m.

I would love to see millions of Erythroniums in flower! But also a tiny Cardamine. Millions of flowers at once could be a bit overwhelming and the elegance of the individual disappear.
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Robert

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #42 on: January 25, 2015, 02:28:18 PM »
Trond,

Our weather has been much too warm for the last two winters. One example is that the cherry crop failed last year due to a lack of chilling hours during the winter dormant season. This year the situation may be worse and include other fruiting species. The only thing that it helping this year, is that the parts of the central valley where fruit is grown are remaining foggy all day keeping the temperatures down. Where there is little or no fog, the temperatures are at record highs for this time of year. A town called Redding in the northern Sacramento Valley was 80 F (26.5 c) yesterday. This is about 30 F (16.5 c) above average for them this time of year. In the foothills surrounding the central valley it is equally warm. The combination of warm temperatures and drought conditions is creating a grim situation. At this point, it is still unknown what we will have to contend with this coming summer.

The other side of the canyon is quite beautiful. The Erythroniums do not bloom in a mass, like a field of grain, but all mixed up with other wild flowers and bulbs. They are all jumbled around mossy rocks, trees, and logs and branches on the ground. In this area there is a giant moss covered rock with Erythroniums growing directly out of the moss. Little or no soil! It is a great place to visit, if one can avoid the dope growers. One reason I'm trying to approach the site from the other side of the river.

Wow! We could sure use some of your rain and snow.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Hoy

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2015, 03:54:02 PM »
Sorry to hear of the bad (in a sense) weather you have. Hope the summer doesn't get correspondingly warm.

The temperature here is also above average. The last year was the warmest ever (that is since about 1890 - it was considerably warmer in the bronze age!). But it isn't anywhere near your hot weather. Even in high summer we rarely reach 80 F.

I am also glad I don't have to cope with dope growers when I am out hiking! But the beautiful views you describe is alluring. We lack almost all kind of bulbs here.
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Tim Ingram

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Re: 2015 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #44 on: January 25, 2015, 04:34:17 PM »
This is a picture of Avalanche lilies from Ira Gabrielson's book 'Western American Alpines' published back in 1932. We are going to be on tenterhooks to see something like this next spring here :) (here they do seem to be like a field of corn). There is great Foreward to the book by E.H.M.Cox where he starts by saying that 'There are seven stages in the life of a gardener...' - I think the one of realising that 'life is too short to encompass even a tithe of all there is to know about the cultivation of plants' is where I have reached (despite best efforts!). These adventures are just adding so much more every time we follow your walks. Really hope some good rains come in the next few months - we regularly get periods of (relative) drought down in the SE of England but they don't compare with a Mediterranean-type climate.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

 


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