Saturday, May 16, 2009

Calaveras--Beyond the Trees

This park is about more than just the trees. We camped beside this lovely meadow.
Pioneers had drained the meadow but the park is trying to restore it to its natural state.
They have a boardwalk which protects the meadow while providing a close-up view. Few flowers were blooming but I saw an abundance of lupin and yarrow along with many other plants I couldn't identify. I'm sure this meadow will be full of flowers next month.
At the edge of the meadow we saw this post and a chickadee who seemed to think it looked like a good place to nest.
The Stanislaus river runs through the park. Some places it bounds over rocks,
in other places it flows calmly along.
There is a very interesting interpretive trail across a volcanic formation. The trail guide explains how successive depositions of volcanic mud and ash created the Merhten Formation, here crossed by the trail.
The ancient river was able to cut through these layers but later lava flows filled the river's channel. The lava was much harder than the Merhten Formation and the river cut a new channel next to the old one exposing bluffs of both the lava and ash.
Springs arising in these layers create lovely rock gardens in the early spring.

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The Explorer said...

Hi Martha,

I really like this post. Green or natural scenic views are my weakness. I always like this kind of view which seldom to see in the city. But I have my favorite which Stanislaus river. I like the color of the water flowing...for me its amazing. I have this similar photos when I visited canada last year.

By the way thanks for dropping by in my monochrome entry last May 3, I really appreciate it.

Arija said...

A superbly photographed post of just spectacular scenery. I love the rushing, turbulent river later meandering quietly along, just like life.

Karen said...

Lovely post ... you photographed the scenery really well..

Love that meadow you camped in. i think I'd find it hard to leave.. :-)

Gaelyn said...

This is a beautiful place. Glad the meadows are being restored and protected. Such diversity there. Nice captures.

Canarybird said...

Very lovely photos of serene, bucolic landscapes.
Interesting that it is a volcanic formation.

Diane C. said...

Beautiful scenery, I love the meadow and boardwalk. Neat how you showed the contrast of fast and slow moving parts of the river. Calaveras looks like an interesting place with the volcanic formations and big trees too.

aguthrieimages said...

Beautiful Martha,
and far North enough to still have an abundance of wildflowers I see, your photos are lovely.

SandyCarlson said...

These are great. The chickadee shot is marvelous.