Too Pooped to Poppy

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Hydra and I were on our way into Palmdale on Sunday to run errands when we saw this amazing spray of poppies on the hillside next to the 14 freeway. We turned around and went back for the good camera.

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Another shot from Sierra Highway.  This is part of the Sierra Pelona mountain range.  I gather than pelona means “bald” in Spanish.  As you can tell by the slant of the tree in the foreground, there is a lot of wind through this pass. This is one of the places where snow and rain gets stuck on it’s way to the Mojave Desert.

 

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The view from The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve.  Some friends who live in Neenach (pronounced KneeKnock) told us that later that there were more a bit further east of us.  It was good to be out in the less populated part of the Antelope Valley, anyway.  This is looking south west, I think, back toward the Sierra Pelonas.

I think it’s a bit early for poppies, since the California Poppy Festival isn’t scheduled till the end of April.  If we don’t get more rain, it doesn’t seem promising that there will be much to see by then.

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The elusive, effusive California poppy.

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For the geologically inclined amongst you, that is Ritter Ridge in the background. It separates the beautiful Leona Valley from the Antelope Valley, and it’s also known as the San Andreas fault ridge. The Leona Valley is basically ground zero for the San Andreas Fault. It’s gorgeous, with lots of grazing land, fruit orchards and lakes (aka sag ponds, where the fault meets an aquifer and viola! water!)

 

 

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All This and the San Andreas Fault

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Hydra–perhaps inspired by our viewing of Iron Man 3 earlier in the day–keeps a boulder at bay, Big Rock Creek, CA.

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Good thing he had his hero on.  Moments after this shot, I found myself straddling this gap and in need of a tug.  I thought he said he stepped from one boulder to the other when in fact he leapt in a spritely fashion.  Too much nice camera equipment hung in the balance for me to risk a tumble.  He came back and helped, yay!

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Pretty sure that this is an antlion pit.  The antlion is waiting down at the bottom of the cone.

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Dragonfly, of course.

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Larger dragonfly.

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Larger dragonfly about to land!

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When I started zooming in and cropping, I discovered that the pretty little flowers were covered in spider webs.  With spiders actually working  in them. In fact, most of the shots included a LOT of bugs we weren’t even aware of.

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Why we came up here in the first place.  Nice to be around water.

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As promised, the San Andreas Fault!  I’m almost pointing at the notch behind me, which mark the path of the famous fault and continental plate boundary.  Hydra and I might be on different continental plates as he takes this.  Or, honestly, we’re both probably in the crush zone and would be in a lot of trouble if this thing let loose.

Whoot!  Another death-defying feat under our belts on a sunny afternoon.

Hot Wheels and a Hike

We took our new Hyundai Sonata out for a drive to the Devil’s Punchbowl.  It’s about half an hour from our house.  Great day for it, other than a lot of wind.

Ruth the barn owl gets a lot of attention from JN, who has worked at the Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area since he was pretty much a sprout.

Here’s a link to a video of his father, the Park Superintendent, talking about the geology of the Punchbowl and the San Andreas Fault.  You can get your own geology tours there on Sunday afternoons.

On the trail… like I said, windy!

So many gorgeous spots along the trail.

It’s well worth the detour to walk down along the creek.  When we first came here, it was during a drought and there was no water flowing for a couple of years.

This would look great in our yard!

The sky almost  looks the way it does near the ocean, but we’re probably 50 miles away as the crow flies.

One last photo shoot for the new car.   Haven’t named it yet…