Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

We spent Easter with friends in El Dorado Hills today. They live in a fantastic area footsteps away from an amazing trail with an incredible view. Can you tell I love it?

© 2014 Claire Toney

Ithuriel's Spear

Blue-eyed Grass

Wild Hyacinth


Friday, April 18, 2014

Four Beavers

We visited the Effie Yeaw Nature Center with friends today. The kids led us to the American River

where they decided to build a rock-bridge to the islet a few yards from the rocky beach where we were sitting

they were able to place enough rocks in the river to walk across. Not enough to keep my kids dry though - my daughter fell in a few times! My friend and I watched the kids from afar and it looked like they were building another "bridge" 

looks like my son is taking a turn falling in the river

while we were left fend for ourselves against the geese!

At the edge of the rocky beach, we found some treasures:

nature's treasures

found treasures - it's a crab claw!


and a walking stick

All that we had to leave with nature, except for the memories. 

This one is my favorite :
Two Pals © 2014 Claire Toney

A Haven in the middle of a Suburban Jungle

I heard of a pond in the middle of Folsom, right across from an elementary school. The fact that such a thing existed didn't really surprise me; what did surprise me is how isolated it felt, despite where it was located.

I stepped onto the trail and walked along a picturesque pond, surrounded by marshes. The view was dotted with houses (lucky families!), pine trees

and a pair of Canadian Geese. 

I continued onto the path and followed it to the woods - the woods! What else would you call this sight? It was wonderful to see undeveloped nature in the middle of suburbia. 

Here too, I saw wildflowers 

On the way out, I saw more happy poppies 

and this guy - could he be one of the birds singing while I enjoyed my time in his woods?

Trails trails and more trails

There is a trail that I keep driving past whenever I drive my kids to school. I always think to myself - tomorrow, I am going to bring my camera and hike that trail! Well, I finally did it. I dropped off my son at Spring Break Camp and took a detour. Lovely California Poppies greeted me...

It was a fairly well-paved trail...

with Winter Vetch still present, along with little yellow flowers whose name I am not familiar with yet (some day I will though!). In case you are wondering, Winter Vetch has darker colored flowers than Spring Vetch. In my very humble opinion, this deeper color is prettier =)

The best part is that there were some trails that led off to who-knows-where - a great place for exploring!

I followed one of the side trails and it didn't lead to anything really interesting. However, looking around the open field, I did notice some of the small wildflowers that grow abundantly in this area this time of year.


I also heard from a friend that the trails eventually lead to the river. I am happy to know this; I will probably take the kids here soon. In the meantime, here are some other photos of the flowers and plants that I saw:

Common Pineapple Weed

 Filaree, with Fairy Scissors!

Blue Dicks?

Hare Barley

Woolly Mullien


Ripgut Brome

Ithuriel's Spear 

 Shepherd's Purse?

Miner's Lettuce