Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Camping at Little North Fork

Susan and I spent our three-day Memorial Day weekend at Little North Fork Campground. The campsites are directly on the bank of the Feather River North Fork, which is what gives the campground its name. Here is our tent by the river.

We spent a lot of our time reading. Here, Susan is reading my copy of Gertrude & Alice by Diana Souhami (about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas). I was reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown, which featured definitely the most grotesque descriptions I've ever read of massacre victims' dead bodies being mutilated (specifically, white men cutting out the genitalia of dead Cheyenne and Arapaho women at the Sand Creek Massacre and wearing them on their hats). After we both finished those books, Susan started reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and I started reading the novella Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez, which was horrendously sexist and completely destroyed my respect for Gabriel García Márquez - but I should probably write a whole separate LiveJournal entry about that. (Oh, and Susan says she also read four other books while we were there: three mystery novels and Trains of Thought: Memories of a Stateless Youth by Victor Brombert.)

Boston spent her time playing with rocks and barking at anyone who walked by our campsite. One of the people in the campsite next to ours caught on to her love of rocks and started tossing rocks for her every time he walked by, to distract her from barking at him.

Facing upstream from our campsite, we had this view of the river. There was a bridge at the far end of the campground.

Facing downstream, we had this view. The river was a gorgeous shade of green that the camera never quite did justice to.

Boston couldn't get enough of the river.

That's a rock she's holding in her mouth.

Here she is posing with Indian rhubarb (Darmera peltata) - those furry brown succulent stems protruding from the water, with clusters of pink flowers on top. There are four of them behind her in this next picture.

And there's one of them in front of her in this one.

And here's a closeup of the plant itself. Susan picked one flower cluster for me; you can see the stub of its stem to the right of the remaining flower cluster. All the flowers closed their petals immediately when she picked it.

Our campsite was constantly filled with swarms of butterflies. Two kinds - these orange ones (California tortoiseshell) and some smaller lavender ones (possibly Anna blue?) that my camera had a harder time capturing. (It was also filled with swarms of mosquitoes and yellowjackets, but I was too busy trying to escape those to want to take pictures of them.)

The lavender butterflies were smaller than the California tortoiseshells. Susan said she used to have a photograph of Taco jumping up in the air after a swarm of these same type of lavender butterflies, but she lost her only copy of the photograph when a neighbor stole her old laptop a year and a half ago.

There was a plaque mounted on a boulder in the campground. It said: OUR HEARTS WILL REMEMBER: The Family Of Jennings "Philip" Miles. There were no flowers there when we first arrived, but during the time we were there, someone brought a pot of pink flowers and left it below the plaque.

I can't find any information about him online. Did he drown in the river?

This is the river from on top of the bridge.

This is the mossy riverbank.

This is an odd little structure that someone built on the riverbank - I have no idea when or for what purpose.

This is the bottom of the bridge.

These are some trees just beyond the bridge.

This is me, exploring the riverbank beyond the bridge.

This is Susan looking at pebbles from the river, and Boston eagerly waiting for Susan to throw some for her.

The campground is in Plumas National Forest. The tall trees we saw were mostly redwoods, white firs, yellow pines, and on the riverbanks, white alders and bigleaf maples.

Here is a bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) in the campsite next to ours.

These are the catkins of the bigleaf maple.

This is a white alder (Alnus rhombifolia) in our campsite.

Here is Pacific mountain dogwood (Cornus nuttallii). My only regret of the camping trip is that I didn't manage to get a better picture of the large white dogwood flowers. I thought I had, but when I got home, I discovered that my dogwood pictures were all blurry, and this is the only one that was salvageable. These trees were all along the road on our way in, and there was one directly across the river from our campsite, and another one near the campground's outhouse.

This is California hazelnut (Corylus cornuta).

This is the river through some trees in our campsite. The small plants on the ground included bedstraw, horsetails, gooseberries, thimbleberries, raspberries, and American trail plant.

This is American trailplant (Adenocaulon bicolor) - called that because people walking through the woods often unknowingly turn over some of the leaves with their feet, revealing the much paler underside. This makes it easier to follow their trail. If you want to make your trail especially easy to follow, turn over the leaves so that the arrow shape of the overturned leaves point in the direction you're going.

These next two pictures show brookfoam (Boykinia major).

This is also brookfoam, but with an unidentified fern mixed in.

These are horsetails (Equisetum arvense). They look almost like tiny pine trees, but they're actually related to ferns.

Here is whitevein wintergreen (Pyrola picta).

This is a gooseberry, probably Sierra gooseberry (Ribes roezlii). It was everywhere in our campsite.

This is a thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) in our campsite.

This shrub was everywhere, including all over our campsite. I never figured out what it was.

This is another plant in our campsite that I never managed to identify.

I never figured out what this was, either. The white bits seemed to be bracts, not flower petals.

Here's a seedling of the same thing.

On our way home, I kept asking Susan to stop the truck for a moment so I could get out and photograph the plants along the road. I should have asked her to stop and let me photograph more Pacific mountain dogwood, because there was a stand of it that would have made a perfect picture, far better than the only one I ended up being able to salvage. But the first plant I actually did ask her to stop for was this rainbow iris (Iris hartwegii).

Meanwhile, I was specifically looking for this sanddune wallflower. I had seen it on our way in, and while we were there, I actually had a dream about it. In the dream, I had found an extremely unusual (read: nonexistent) variation of it that had blue flowers instead of orange flowers.

After photographing this one, I realized that there were actually quite a few others along the road. But this was the largest one, and the only one I had noticed on the way in, so it was the only one I photographed on the way out.

Here is a hillside covered with meadow larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum).

And here's a closeup of it.

Tags: native plants, photographs, susan
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