Wild Wednesday … Mystery Wildflower!


lavender, wildflower, Sierra, Indian Valley


A lavender wildflower. Does anyone recognize this flower? I took the picture in the Indian Valley of the Northern Sierra.

My forester/botanist office neighbor, Tom, knew it right away. So did Lisa, a FB friend. It is Spiraea douglasii or it’s common names are Douglas’ spiraea, hardhack steeplebush, steeplebush and rose spiraea. It’s a native of the western US and Canada and is commonly used a landscape plant. Who knew?

Forestry Friday … Mountain Thunderstorms


Looking across Indian Valley at a mountain thunderstorm. We’ve had many storms, already this year. Fortunately, they’ve been moisture laden. Dry lightening is a huge concern in the Sierra Nevada, especially in a dry year like this.  Our long term weather prediction is for high thunderstorm activity in July and August. Hopefully, a healthy dose of rain goes with it.

Lake Almanor

A downpour coming across Lake Almanor.

Rain2

Unfortunately, thunderstorms are so spotty when it comes to rain. As of yesterday “sleepers” started popping up all over Northern California. The sleepers are the smoldering lightning strikes that flare into a full blown fires when the temperatures rise and humidity falls.

Rain1

Most of the lightning fires have already been extinguished by the fire services, but there are always a few that get away. Today we are suppose to reach 103 F in the valley and 108 F tomorrow. Despite the rain, it’s fire season in Northern California.

Forestry Friday … Spotted Pine Sawyer


Pine Sawyer Beetle, pen and ink, pen, drawing

The Spotted Pine Sawyer in pen and ink.

PineSawyer3

The spotted pine sawyer beetle is in the longhorn beetle genus. If you hang out around enough log landings you’re bound to see them. This one flew into my truck.

PineSawyer2

Be careful how you pick them up. They have strong mandibles and are happy to bite you.

They reproduce in dead and dying trees. Their larvae will bore into the log, thus reducing its value.

Pine Sawyer Grub, larva, larval

The larval form is a borer that damages the wood.

PineSawyer1

A log deck in the wood is a natural attractant for the beetles. If the logs sit in the woods too long the beetles will get into them.

PineSawyer4

Spotted Pine Sawyer, Monochamus galloprovicialis.

Forestry Friday … First Trip to the Woods


Bliss is a forester’s dog and this was her first day at work.

golden retriever, retriever,forester, puupy

It’s her job to go to the woods. There’s no time like the present to start training her.

On her first day she got to play in numerous rivers and visit the redwoods. Not bad for a day one. I documented her day in the gallery below.