Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Daugherty Hill

On Friday I took the afternoon off work and went hiking at the Daugherty Hill Unit of Daugherty Hill State Wildlife Area. I had previously hiked at the Donovan Hill Unit of the same state wildlife area, but not at this unit. I thought about taking Boston with me, but there were cattle at the Donovan Hill Unit when I hiked there, so I thought there might be cattle at the Daugherty Hill Unit also, and I didn't want to deal with Boston freaking out at the sight of cattle. As it turned out, there weren't any cattle. However, I did see two horseback riders with an unleashed dog between them, so I was glad not to have Boston with me during that.

I think I hiked about six or seven miles. That's a very rough estimate based on looking at the aerial view of the trails in Google Maps. It felt like a much, much easier hike than the seven-mile hike to Feather Falls, but I suppose that was because it was a lot flatter. Not actually flat, that is, but merely hilly rather than mountainous. I did wish I'd had the good sense to bring some water with me. I need to buy myself a CamelBak or equivalent and bring it with me whenever I hike. Susan had one, but I never bothered buying a separate one for myself, and now I need to.

Anyway, it was a good hike, even without water. Here is a view of the Sutter Buttes from Daugherty Hill.

Sutter Buttes

This is Daugherty Hill itself.

Daugherty Hill

This is Daugherty Hill again.

Daugherty Hill

These are some dead trees that caught my attention near the parking lot.

dead trees

This is a drainage ditch. Many of the paths in the wildlife area run alongside it.


This is a giant chain fern (Woodwardia fimbriata) on the bank of the drainage ditch, with some Himalayan blackberry canes reaching across the ditch toward it.

Woodwardia fimbriata (giant chain fern)

This is a whole row of giant chain ferns on the bank of the drainage ditch, with manzanitas above it.

Woodwardia fimbriata (giant chain fern)

This is rosilla (Helenium puberulum) on the bank of the drainage ditch. I used to grow this plant in my old garden at the duplex. I haven't planted it in my new garden because I'm not sure I want to deal with its millions of seedlings.

Helenium puberulum (rosilla)

This is either glandular hareleaf (Lagophylla glandulosa) or common hareleaf (Lagophylla ramosissima), but I'm not sure which, and the photo is nowhere near good enough to be of any help in identifying it. The yellow flower at the far upper right of the photo is yellow starthistle, not part of the hareleaf plant.

hareleaf (Lagophylla sp.)

This is toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia).

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon)

I believe this is also toyon, but with unusually colored berries. There's a toyon cultivar called 'Davis Gold' that has berries this color, but I didn't expect to see this color variation in the wild.

Heteromeles arbutifolia (gold toyon)

This is a panoramic view from the trail, facing northwest. I believe the hill behind the wires is McGinn Hill.


The first trail I followed came to a dead end at a "Private Property" sign, so I doubled back and took a different fork. The second trail I followed came to a dead end at Dry Creek. If Dry Creek had actually been dry, I could have continued across the creek to another section of trail, but it was not at all dry at this time of year. This is Dry Creek.


And this is a closer view of Dry Creek. I sat next to it for a while and put my hands in the water. There was an Indian rhubarb plant (Darmera peltata) directly across the creek from me; you can sort of see it here (very large, dry, brown leaves, in the right half of the picture). I've seen this plant often on camping trips, but I didn't expect to see it on a day trip. I think of it as living farther away from me than this. CalFlora says it doesn't even live in Yuba County at all, but this was definitely it; it even had a flower spike to help identify it.


I arrived at Dry Creek at just about the perfect time to turn back and be able to make it to my car just as the sun was setting. On my way back, I took some pictures of the structures that hold up the power lines.




And near the parking lot, I took one final picture of an oak tree.


On my drive home, I stopped on the outskirts of Marysville to photograph a flooded rice field at sunset, with the Sutter Buttes in the distance. Another driver stopped nearby and photographed the same view at the same time as me. I think any driver who happened to have a camera in the car would have felt a need to pull over and photograph this.

rice field
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