North Fork Weekend

Over Memorial Weekend I stayed with the majority of my children and grandchildren in a couple of cabins in the foothills near Yosemite National Park. One day we were all attending the wedding of my niece. The other days we explored in smaller groups, or hung out at the larger cabin with all nineteen of us together, cooking, eating, playing bocce ball or swinging on the tire swing.

On my drive in to the village of North Fork, near which our cabins were located, I saw lots of these recumbent white lupine plants along the roads. Just now, trying to identify them, I read that there are around 200 species of lupines. I can’t find any that look like these, so I’m giving up.

But those pinkish flowers under the lupines appear to be clover. It covered the dry slopes around our cabins.

We trust that Jamie will soon grow out of his love for his toy cell phone that he uses remarkably like silly adults. After all, it is always dead.  His imagination obviously isn’t — but just what can he be imagining?

For a couple of hours Sunday Maggie and Annie played on a paddle board in Bass Lake while the others of us watched them, or watched Liam with his bubble wand. We might have rented a boat but they were all taken. Then we ate ice cream; it was hot!

In 2015 I was in the Sierra foothills south of here, and first learned of this plant below, called Bear Clover or Mountain Misery, Chamaebatia foliolosa. Back then we were in the same sort of dry terrain at a similar elevation, so I wasn’t surprised to see it again. Last week I couldn’t remember the name, but I recalled something about it being smelly.

A species of collinsia or Chinese Houses.

I had taken a big box of old maps up to the mountains with me, to offer to the family before I recycle them. Several people were curious, but Scout was most captivated by them and thrilled at the possibility of having some of them for his very own, now that he can read and decode them. His parents helped him sort them into categories, and eventually they let him take the whole box, to be more thoroughly sorted and culled later. He searched me out several times to thank me for the maps 🙂

One of the maps was called “Indian Country” and showed mostly the Southwest U.S. I don’t think it covered much of the territory that Lewis & Clark’s Corps of Discovery explored, which was certainly Indian Country as well. One of the plants the Corps encountered was a wildflower called Arrowleaf Balsamroot or Balsamorhiza sagittata, and I believe Pippin and I saw it, too, on a walk near our cabin.

The flowers had not quite opened yet, but they were showing some yellow. In the Corps’ journal we read, “The stem is eaten by the natives, without any preparation. On the Columbia. Aprl. 14th 1806.” By the way, lupine seeds were also food to Native Americans.

Our group didn’t eat anything like that. Our big meals together were BBQ on Sunday night, and bacon and eggs on Monday morning before we departed for our homes. I fried three pounds of bacon and drove off with my clothes and hair still pungent a couple of hours later.

It was far from North Fork, but I will end with this photo of alfalfa fields I drove past — slowly, in holiday traffic — in the Sacramento Delta. In one field I saw they were mowing, so I rolled down my window and got a whiff of that.

I’m happy and home and too tired to pull this all together somehow…. Oh, well, they are all things that I like, and/or think about. 🙂


9 thoughts on “North Fork Weekend

  1. How lovely!!!  Your “cup runneth over.”  I am thankful that you are home safely from your adventure. Love you, dear.  Christie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good morning, GL! I’m the first to comment! I’m glad you had a sweet weekend with your family. The maps sound fun – I would have been like Scout myself, pouring through them. I love maps. That was thoughtful of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello dear GJ!

    Aw, your family is wonderful. I love the idea of maps being savored and enjoyed.

    Bacon smells like family, doesn’t it?

    I have some poetry to send you that I collected from The Academy of American Poets. I have it in the big mailer, so now to get to the post office . . .

    Love love love

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How nice to be all together. I love seeing your pictures and what you did while at Yosemite.

    There is nothing nicer than smelling new mown hay. It always reminds me that summer is just around the corner.

    I think it’s cute about the maps.

    It sounds like you had such a nice time. Glad you are home now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for bringing us along. It seemed peaceful, natural, real. And such beauty. Inspiring to notice what you noticed and chose to remember and tell. And show. Those photographs are special. Wild flowers and child flowers. Life is good again this morning as I read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for always sharing the wildflowers and plants where ever you go. I find it very interesting. Glad you rolled down the windows to smell the fresh-cut alfalfa. It’s a great fragrance.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A lovely but tiring family weekend! I’m glad Scout has an interest in maps.. Nice also that you didn’t just have to throw them away.

    The wildflowers are lovely. When we were in Arizona ( I think it was) we saw so many Arrowleaf Balsamroot. I had never seen them before and had to look them up to find out their intriguing name.

    Liked by 1 person

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