March 29 (1979, 1981, 1988, 2001, 2004)
Hound's Tongue and Tufted Poppy ~ Euchre Bar footbridge

3/29/79   although the stars were visible last night, this morning a solid sheet of grey covers the sky…

i was going to take a walk, as the clouds were breaking up and i haven't been out hiking around for a while. however, thoughts about the necessity for self-reliance, and the sorry state of my volkswagen lately, had me lying down and checking my valves. what a wonderful feeling, to fix one's car all by oneself. it runs much better.

then i went on my walk. i ended up on top of moody ridge. the sun was low in the west, and its light penetrated the canyon in a long band, as often happens. however, across the canyon it was raining lightly, and there was half a rainbow springing up from a a thickly forested gully. i watched it for about 20 min. it was a beautiful sunset, bejeweled by a rainbow. the rainbow looked like a pillar of gold.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

3/29/81   Rain, with the sun trying to poke through right after. …

We went skiing yesterday. Up to Rowton and back. Discovered a nice route to the Meadows of Onion Creek's many forks, along the south side of the ridge. Telemarking is hard in deep slush.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

3/29/88    Sunset hour, on a day gradually softened by filmy clouds, the air almost tangibly thicker after several days of very dry north winds.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

March 29, 2001
  Hound's Tongue
Cynoglossum grande)


Note from Gay: In late winter and the mud of early spring, when flowers still seem impossible, when I feel in desperate need of color in my life as winter wanes — suddenly appear these waving flashes of blue and purple in the forest, in the first melt patches, catching and compelling my eye. And then, very soon, holes in the leaves indicate that the caterpillars have emerged, to gorge themselves for days on the big juicy leaves of their favorite host plant. They're so colorful as well!
Caterpillar of the "Police Car Moth"
(Gnophaela vermiculata)
The plant is sometimes confused with Velvety Stickseed; the flowers are quite similar, but the leafing pattern is different. Hound's Tongue leaves are large and basal. Stickseed leaves are smaller, narrow, and they grow off the stem as in this photo at the CalPhotos database:
And here is a link to a photo of the resulting Police Car Moth:

Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 08:22:58 -0800
To: Karen Callahan
From: Russell Towle
Subject: Re: Houndstongue caterpillar, etc.

Tufted Poppy
(Eschscholzia caespitosa)

>adult-hood. Great pictures! I think the small poppies
>on Canyon Creek are Eschscholzia caespitosa, Tufted
>Poppy. I checked on the poppies & E.Lobbii grows at
>much lower elevation.

E. lobbi says Munz to 2000 feet; poppies photographed at Canyon Creek ca. 2400 feet.

Also, Munz has tufted poppy petals "1-2.5 cm. long" whereas Lobb's poppy petals "7-15 mm. long."

Hence Lobb's would be much smaller. You must be right, Tufted Poppy it is. Thanks!

The Footbridge at Euchre Bar
March 28, 2004

Russell Towle selfie, with the North Fork American River, at Euchre Bar footbridge, 2004

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