Tuesday, May 14, 2013

habitat ~ 05/14/13 ~ Washington

Have you ever had one of those days, when while you're experiencing it, you know deep down that it will forever influence who you are?  This was one of those days for me.

I want to thank Dr. Art Shapiro for cheerfully accepting my requests to tag along with him at one of his butterfly sites. I initially asked him exactly 3 years ago May 14, 2010. I finally got my act together and bit the bullet to drive through 3+ hours of intense Bay Area traffic to UC Davis to meet him. Little did I suspect, he doesn't drive! Can you imagine doing 40+ years of field work, at multiple sites, every other week without driving? He's utilized public transportation and the assistance of many students. Wow.

I ended up being a very willing chauffeur to him and his wife to go the additional 90 minutes up the hills to get to Washington. They are a lovely couple with a mind-boggling variety of interests that's infectious, including a taste for fabulous food, a love for clouds, dogs, rocks, and local events, keen observations of quirky people and the ethics surrounding news headlines, and a giggle-inducing fixation on a baffling old British license plate game using cadence and rhymes. I had tears running down my eyes from laughing so hard by the time we passed Sacramento on the way down.  I'm proud to say that I had the honor to glimpse a tiny bit of the Shapiros' incredible lives.

Sigh. It's absolutely gorgeous up there, not to mention very, very warm. It was like stepping into an alternate reality, familiar, yet different enough that I questioned its validity. Eh, maybe I'm still exhausted? The day was extremely long, with my getting up at 3:30am and arriving back home through the door a little past midnight and cleanly tucked into bed by 1:30am. But, man, oh man, it was well worth the effort!

Hwy 20 overlook down across Washington to Sierra Buttes, 21 miles away as the crow flies

South Yuba River

metasedimentary-serpentine contact

view from the lovely back porch of The Washington Hotel, notable for sending Muppets to space

Through the journey of this blog, I've learned to go ahead and ask questions from complete strangers, to not be afraid to show how much I really don't know, to be actively curious, and to explore...  

Specific IDs will be forthcoming in future posts.


GretchenJoanna said...

I didn't know we had a Washington in California! Looking forward to seeing what plants you identified. I like that area.

Imperfect and Tense said...

Seems to have done you a power of good. Enthused and amused. Glad you had a good time :o)

Jennifer and Steve said...

Sounds fun! Can't wait to see some of your observations. Hope you are well! :)

Katie (Nature ID) said...

I'm slowly getting things posted.

Gretchen, it's amazing how location can thoroughly change the specific plants found. I sent you a comment for your unknown lotus.

Graeme, this fun is in particular contrast to other outings I've done recently with others, including ones who apparently don't believe in showering or wearing deodorant, perennially querulous personalities, and those who are just plain bored with it all.

Jennifer and Steve, things are good here. Have enjoyed following all your excursions and changes you've made on your small home farm. Man, I miss Ohio sometimes.