Fruits, Fading leaves, Fresh leaves

Big Cone Douglas Fir
(Big Cone Douglas Fir, Pseudotsuga macrocarpa- November 29, 2008)

The last time I went on a trip was on September 26; I missed the SBBG Fall Foray and also the Countless Conifers trips because of workload. However, I did attend the two evening pre-trip classes for Countless Conifers – and they were like mini-trips themselves. I have never seen such an array of plant foliage and fruit (cone) samples, supplemented with impressive notes. It was just wonderful, and the room had an appropriate feel for this time of year with all of the firs, pines, etc. I had never seen cedar foliage before and thought it beautiful. The picture above (taken yesterday) is a tribute to that class; it is a pity that more people could not have enjoyed the complete course of all things California conifers.

(GPS tracking – Click on image for larger view November 29, 2008)

The trip this Saturday was an excuse to get out from behind the monitor and also to test a GPS unit I had purchased about a month ago. It is a small external unit that I attached to the side of the camera on one of the strap connectors. It had no problem picking up a satellite signal, indicated by a flashing satellite icon. The icon is not always clear in bright sun. It works very well if the camera date/time matches the computer date/time – it matches time to determine the GPS position, when you load the GPS files onto the computer.

I made a couple novice errors – I should have left the unit on all the time, and not turn it on when I started shooting. I forgot sometimes to turn it off, and when turning it on, was actually turning it off. However, this resulted in my discovering that the device tracks from inside the car, because one of the gps files tracks the road travelled from a place somewhere along the summit road to where I stopped at the serpentine sunflower place. One can actually see the movement (yellow line) out of the car, to where I started shooting toyon and other plants down the road. The software only tags .jpg images. I need (sometime) to learn more about the uses once the tags are added to the images, and if other software can add it to the original raw image.

(Toyon, Christmas Berry – November 29, 2008)

Toyon or Christmas Berry was glorious, and a number of pictures are included in the slideshow. “Fading” – there were a number of plants that were still flowering despite mostly drying branches. “Fruits” – many plants had berries or dried fruit. “Fresh” – new leaves were seen on old and new bush lupine, possibly a monkeyflower at the summit, and flowers on chaparral currant. The still-flowering plants were mostly found near seeps. One of the seeps still had apparent water flow, and this was where the faded butterfly was seen, as well as the bush monkeyflower. California fuschia grows in a variety of places, and is always a late bloomer.

(Yucca dried fruit, and seeds – November 29, 2008)

Coyote Bush
(Coyote Bush dried fruit, and wind-dispersed seed – November 29, 2008)

(Cottonwood – November 29, 2008)

The sycamore leaves are not quite red yet; however I came across a glorious cottonwood, highlighted by the sun. Hopefully, there will be time to get out again at the end of the year for redder leaves.

Slideshow – click on any image to start slideshow