Cactus Flowers   Leave a comment

Friend and helper Ferrabie and I took a walk early this afternoon, with Rye, Xena, and Bella coming along.  Ferrabie teaches a K/1 combination class up in the mountains, and she wanted to see if there were any polliwogs in the river yet.  She’d like to raise some in her classroom.  So we all headed downriver, to look in the warm shallows I often visit.

But — I forgot about the sweep the authorities made, cleaning out the homeless camps downriver last week.  Of course, that led to the camps moving upriver.  In the spot at the end of our property, where I usually go down into the river, there was a large tent in the riverbed — and a large dog guarding it.  I hurriedly called Xena and Rye back, and we decided we wouldn’t go there after all.

It wasn’t all loss, though, because on the way back, we noticed the Bakersfield cactus blooming on the levee.  I had my camera, of course, so I gave Bella to Ferrabie to hold, and scrambled up the bank.  The last time I tried this, a couple of years ago, I ended up sliding back down on my belly.  This year, due to the drought, there was no slippery grass, and I made it most of the way.

I couldn’t get too near, though, not for the flower close-ups I wanted.  I got a good shot of the growth habit, though.

bcactus1

But, of course, that’s what zoom lenses are for.  I zoomed in on the best-looking bloom.

bcactus2

Pretty good . . . but maybe I could zoom in a little closer without losing too much quality?

Yep.

bcactus3

Then I chose a flower that was beginning to fade, but still beautiful.

bcactus4

This is a rare-and-endangered cactus, which has lived in the same spot for years.  It’s never spread much, but it persists year after year.  When the levee district cleared the levee, we worried about it.  It turned out that they had been warned, and carefully scraped around it.

It’s worth preserving.

While I was scrambling around up there, Ferrabie said that Bella got quite concerned.  I might have expected her to spook a little, but no, she wanted to come up there with me.  Ferrabie added that she wasn’t sure whether I had a pony or a really big puppy!

We never did find any polliwogs — at least not yet.  There’s supposed to be a homeless sweep in our area in a week or two.  I wonder if they’ll go back downstream, or farther upstream then.  But either way, maybe we’ll be able to search the river again.

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Posted April 7, 2013 by stablewoman in Bella, Kern River, Wildflowers

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