Summer Has Arrived

2 mts and shadowsOur brief spring is over and the trees are now in full leaf.

1 mtsAn American kestral has been checking the place out.

3. American kestrelIt is a long while since I have had time to go on a hike, but the other day I abandoned chores and went up onto the north dunes.

4 north dunesAs always, the desert landscape fascinates me.

5 snagI was delighted to find a new flower.  I had seen the leaves on numerous occasions, but never any fruit or seeds, so I often wondered what the plant was.  The only summer I have spent here before was 2013 – I was always at Nuk Tessli before – and last year I was still on crutches after the knee replacement so never came this far at this time.

Now that it had flowers, I could identify it.  This innocuous little blossom has the rather intriguing common name of Bastard Toadflax.

6 bastard toadflaxNearby were bear tracks: no obvious claws so a black bear, but fairly large and alone so I suspect a male.

7 bear tracksIt was a day of clouds and shadows.

8 cloudsBack on my road, cutleaf fleabane was blooming.

9 cutleaf fleabaneThe next day was equally beautiful and rain was forecast later so I went to the south bluffs.  (It never did rain, but it was a good excuse!)

10 cliffHere is Harry on top.  It looks as though he has a bunch of blackflies whizzing round his head, but in fact there are hardly any flies so far and the dots are rough-winged swallows.

11 Harry on topAt the end of the south bluffs, you can see for miles.

12 view southjpgA trail I have flagged but not yet brushed out took me to a viewpoint on the way home.  You can’t see it, but my house is on the left in the middle distance.

13 on way homeAs I dropped down to a bit of grassy meadow, there were the first blue-eyed grasses.  (It’s not a grass with a flower like that, of course: it is a member of the iris family.)

15 blue-eyed grassThe upper pond is half empty already: there has really been very little runoff water this year.

16 upper pondOn it were a bunch of mallards and a pair of green-winged teal.

18 ducks


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