But first there are the thistles we saw. I know that some of the thistles are invasive weeds, and in fact the star thistle is devastating pastures all over the state. And killing horses in the process. I don't know if the other thistles are natural or invaders. Hopefully my botanist readers can clue us in.
tolerant of serpentine soils.
eastern Great Valley and lower Sierra Nevada foothills near New Hogan Reservoir and Valley Springs, followed by a pair of laboratory field trips to Del Puerto Canyon in the Coast Ranges where I took these wildflower pictures. Then, on Saturday, it was another field trip to Yosemite Valley, where we saw Half El Capitan, Half Cathedral Rocks, Half Yosemite Falls, and No Dome. Check out the different kinds of scenery and rocks...
|The Great Valley with Mount Diablo in the distance|
|The lower reaches of Del Puerto Canyon, showing thick layers of the Great Valley Group, |
and a pretty incredible landslide (slump and earthflow)
|Some tightly folded radiolarian cherts in the middle stretches of Del Puerto Canyon|
|Olivine peridotite from the upper end of Del Puerto Canyon|
|An overcast day in one of the best places in the world to see granitic rock exposed in all its splendor|
This isn't exactly a mystery to be solved by the readers, more a lead-in to the next post, but you are welcome to comment if you can answer what exactly it is that links these disparate features of California's landscape.