Tuesday, August 26, 2014

photo series ~ 04/08-08/26/14 ~ Pinnacles National Park - west

April 8, 2014 to August 26, 2014
Pinnacles National Park - west entrance

posted 09/02/14 - My weekly Tuesday Pinnacles practice visits have come to an end.  It's been quite a journey and an utterly unique experience that began essentially 6 months ago when I visited Pinnacles on February 25, 2014.  This vantage point from the westside parking lot doesn't highlight the seasonal changes as dramatically as some of my other photo series (posted here or in my archives), however it is the longest continuous run I have at 21 weeks.  They were not my primary purpose, but it was easy to do and I liked seeing the changes over time.  It never rained on me once in this record-breaking drought year.  I surprised my finicky self, so dedicated to this project that I even went out hiking in 105°F weather.  Good golly, that was hot, hot, hot!  Now that it's done, maybe I'll get around to backposting more of my photos?  

CA striped racer ~ 08/26/14 ~ Pinnacles

While I don't go out of my way looking for snakes, I get a thrill when I do find them.  This is only my second time knowingly spotting a striped racer; the last time was at Fort Ord over 3 years ago!  True to its name, it quickly skedaddled when I attempted to get a closer picture.  And, yes, my location label below is correct for the east side of Pinnacles.  This was the first time since camping back in 2011 that I've hiked from one side of the park to the other.  I'll admit, I'm a bit of a hiking wimp, especially in the heat on hills.  It was worth the trek.

yellow star-thistle ~ 08/26/14 ~ Wishing Well


This cheery yellow flower is easily in my top 5 most despised plants in the state of CA, which gained a foothold here sometime before 1869 and hails from southern Europe and western Eurasia.  It's super pokey and stops me in my tracks while out hiking.  I realized recently that I may have been mistaking another star-thistle tocalote for this yellow star-thistle, so I made a point to find it on the road outside the west entrance to Pinnacles National Park to take a closer look and these pictures.  If only it weren't such a great reported butterfly nectar source...