My Search for Wildflowers
I mentioned not too long ago, that I had gone in search of wildflowers. I was in a deep funk and decided to take off, camera in hand, and see if there were any wildflowers left. I had never gone on a wildflower hunt before but had a good idea where they were reported to hang out. I headed out towards Tehachapi, taking a road that meandered through orange groves, past a field of sheep, which leads to my first photo. It's not very good because the sheep, being sheep, were spooked by my presence and kept moving. I was aiming for the little black sheep (mid right) but his mom herded him off in a rush. Kills me to think that these guys will probably wind up on someone's Easter dinner table.
I wound up stopping at Murray Farms for a quick pick-up of fresh fruit. I kept heading south on a road that promised it would dead-end on me, which meant that I might find some wildflowers hiding out. I wound up in the middle of farm workers and a bunch of tractors and dirty looks, and no wildflowers.
I headed back in the direction I'd come and found "Rancheria Road!" Now, that's always on the list of where to find wildflowers, so I turned off and realized it was pretty deserted. That's a good thing in my book. As I headed towards the river, I really had a surprise. A castle. An honest to goodness castle. Truthfully, it was a mansion. Turrets and all. It was perched on the river with a fantastic view. I got out to take a picture and noticed a man sitting on the deck. I decided to turn in the other direction and snap a quick shot so he wouldn't think I was a stalker or something weird like that.
I decided to see where the road would lead and I am SO glad I did. No, I didn't find the Elysian fields of lupine or poppies, but what I found was nothing, nothing but a rough road and a vista that the Native Americans probably saw a hundred or more years ago. Sure, there were signs of modernity, but not much. I loved it. The road was leading up into the hills and goes up to Kernville, but from the north. It's probably impassable in winter. I only passed one car in my half-hour trip. Funny, I didn't feel frightened of being so far off the beaten path or wonder if I had cell phone reception. I just felt priveledged to see something that few people bother to take advantage of. I saw hawks and ravens soaring over the valley, seeking muchies for lunch. There were a few flowers left but the weeds had pretty much taken over. I missed any cattle that might have been on a walkabout. (But that's another post!) I found a spot to turn around and made my way back and headed towards Kern Canyon.
This is the road that leads to Lake Isabella. If you'll look closely, you'll notice that scary overhang of rock. My former husband's dad owned a trucking company that hauled gas. One of the runs was up to Kernville. The trucks had to go at night so they could traverse that section of road without clipping the overhang. Can you imagine jockeying an 18 wheeler through those narrow roads? We managed to clip a window on a camper we were driving - it's that narrow and very crooked. Fortunately, I don't get car sick, but I've had to pull over to let friends out to relieve themselves of stomach contents due to the constant ESS curves! It's really a blast to drive - especially if you're not scared. I've always wanted an opportunity to drive it in a Porsche...Then, after a few curves in the road, I saw this: A splash of orange poppies on the hillside. Finally, some bonified wildflowers!
Here are some more of the things I found:The water level is really low this year. Even though the spring runoff hasn't really started, it's much lower than usual for this time of year.
Even though I was in a horrid mood when I left home, this was a priceless time to once again discover the local beauty that surrounds me. I felt as though I'd been in a shower that washed the blues away and I came home with a clearer focus. And look what I found: