Mr. and Mrs. C. invited us to their cabin again on the south end of Lake Tahoe. At 6,000 ft. elevation it’s still pretty brisk in May, but the sky was SO blue, the lake was SO blue, and the air was dry, full of the smells of pine trees and cedars with some wood smoke thrown in. I breathed deeply.
Here is a map if you need to get your bearings. The lake itself lies on the Nevada-California state line. We usually approach from the southwest and drive through the state capital of Sacramento to get there.
I had escaped the world down below where picture storage was one of the many time-consuming computer problems that had recently worn me out, and I arrived with a reluctance to use my camera. Of course that didn’t last long, especially when wildflowers are out. May in the Sierras brings flowers you can’t see in the summertime, so I had to seize my opportunity, didn’t I? My other blog posts about the Tahoe area have different photos from what I came away with this time.
|Cascade Lake in foreground, Tahoe in distance.|
We hiked to the top of Cascade Falls one day. It drops and flows into Cascade Lake which lies just south of Emerald Bay, a little higher in elevation. This picture was taken from a granite shelf looking as straight-down as I could manage to the bottom of the falls.
The Snow Plants have popped up all over, here and there on the floor of the conifer forest, with no leaves. Mrs. C. was coveting one, wondering how she might get a specimen to grow near the cabin, but what I found out on Wikipedia when I came home makes me think that would be near impossible to make happen.
The snow plant is sarcodes sanguinea, the only species in the genus sarcodes, in the heath family. It is unable to photosynthesize its own food, “…a parasitic plant that derives sustenance and nutrients from mycorrhizal fungi that attach to roots of trees.” Now I can imagine the roots of these bright plants extending deeply into the world of tree roots. If we are lucky, perhaps the right conditions will in the future concur and surprise Mrs. C. with a burst of red.
|A lagoon by Kiva Beach|
Another color that got my attention was the sand around Lake Tahoe. We took the yellow lab to swim and fetch and I sat on the shore and considered how all the grains of sand were warm golden tones, not like any ocean beach I’ve seen.
Wooly Mule’s Ears, also known as mountain mule’s ears, were in bloom, and I got a photo of them as in a perennial bed planted by Mother Nature, with a border of Squaw Carpet in front.
Wyethia mollis and Ceanothus prostratus
Here’s a nice flowering bush that I don’t know. Maybe someone reading this knows this plant? It grows in the forests on public land and in private yards. (Update: the same reader in a comment below is kind enough to tell us that this is Western Serviceberry.)
Did you ever do a Google image search of “lichen”? Amazing, amazing plants. Here is one of the more subtle designs, which we saw on a rock at the top of Cascade Falls, a lovely arrangement of vegetable and mineral and just one example of how God’s artwork is splashed all around the world for our pleasure and His glory. Thank You, Lord, for the refreshment.