Matilda went for a drive in the country
Gosh, what a great road that would be to ride. Nice work, Nana.
Sigh. California. Those are hills that I could easily die on.
Tildy!! Who's a good girl?!
Looks like Marin County. R&L
I notice in the comparisons that California has trees and the Kansas you show us does not. Kansas looks like a bigger version of the Teletubbies set.
Right now really is the peak of loveliness for those hills.... and the shades of green in Spring thrill me every year. Do you get the purple patches of vetch come May?
It's so true, the need for water - summer headaches are really common, inland, anyway, a sure sign of dehydration. I warn everyone who comes to visit.... drink more water!
....and when there is even a rare speck of humidity come crispy days of summer, my senses come alive and rejoice at the tiniest bit of gentleness in the air. I didn't realize how nice and gentle the air becomes with some humidity, couldn't wait to move away from humidity once upon a time. Now I understand - there's an almost tangible sweet spot - not Georgia wet blanket humidity, not searingly dry non-humid 'out here,' but maybe somewhere just below right in the middle.... ahhh. Tangible. almost.
I took a photo of the rain storm this week, thinking it might be, not the last, but, one of the last .... until September - if we're lucky.
I have thought of posting posts of drives so often - and have never quite made myself sit down and just get the dang photos put up. Thank you for taking the time!!! Such a great eye - and the raven taking off is sublime.
*waving down the road toward the Bay Area*
...the Teletubbies set.... ha! That made me laugh : )
(SO glad my kids were not in the right era.)
There was vetch here and there, definitely, with more of it to come you say? In Kansas, most (but not all) vetches are invasive plants introduced from somewhere else, thus being in a botanical category I generally refer to as "Kill it kill it kill it!" but out here they're natives, or at least the ones Lee pointed out to me were. There were loads of flowers everywhere actually, most of which I didn't recognize except for obvious stuff like California poppies and lupines.
Lupines, with some sort of yellow flower and a very ornamental silvery glaucous drylands/chapparal perennial of some kind or another off to the left
I loved this one but have no idea what it is. Anna?
Teletubbies? Thanks, Kosh, but at least I know now what kind of nightmares I'll be having tonight.
Regarding the "trees, more here or more there?" issue, it is... complicated is a good word I guess. Kansas City sits right on the border between two major (and majorly different) eco-regions - to the East is primarily deciduous oak/hickory woodland stretching for over a thousand miles all the way to the Atlantic, while to the West are the nearly completely treeless High Plains rising up toward the Rockies in an unbroken sweep of steppelands stretching from Canada to Mexico, with the tallgrass prairie and oak savanna biomes, once comprising a quarter of the landmass of the continental US but now whittled down to only 2% of what it once was, being the transition zone between the two. This means that the area I grew up in was originally a very complicated mosaic of habitats featuring treeless uplands and park-like oak savannas and flowery meadows and glades mixed in with gallery forests stretching like long spindly fingers up the streams and creeks where woody plants were sheltered from prairie fires and there was enough water for them to thrive. If Lewis and Clarke could have flown in a Piper Cub due West from their encampment at Kawsmouth (what is now downtown Kansas City Missouri) they would have seen something resembling this, provided of course you mentally edit out the man-made items in the pic -
Thanks for the information on the geographic transition. That was really good.
I mentioned fire - that, combined with periodic grazing by large ungulates, is what keeps a prairie a prairie. and it's no accident that the dominant trees in all three of the major north American savanna regions are oaks, since they have a thick, tough bark that protects them from wildfires which sweep through on a roughly 5 to 10 year cycle and wipe out any woody shrubs and thinner skinned trees encroaching from the gallery forests.
This one almost took my life a few years back. I had seen some good prairie fires off to the east of where i was driving along KS 177 one day, so I pulled over to get some photos. Was just standing there on the shoulder of the road snapping pics, so focused on what was happening a half mile or so away that I didn't notice a dense, matted stand of last year's switchgrass right at my feet had ignited until it explosively burst into intense, 8 foot high flames all around me. I managed to bound out of it with only most of the hair on my arms and eyebrows sizzled off, but for a few days afterward people kept asking how I'd managed to get such a nice sunburn that early in the year. ADD is a terrible thing...
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