Friday, May 2, 2014

Magnolia Ranch, Highway 49, Pilot HIll, California

May Day, 2014

I had intended to go out to Cronan Ranch (adjacent to Magnolia, also administered by the BLM/American River Conservancy) but the gate was still locked after the last two days of star thistle abatement spraying. I guess 6:30am is too early.

Magnolia Ranch, shadier, is better for flowers.
I tried some flower pictures with my cellphone. One good, one bad.

So I ended up walking through lots of tall damp grass, dressed for clear dry trails. And - I got my very first tick. All the years hiking out here and in Michigan, and my first tick. I pulled the sucker out when I got to the car. I'll keep an eye on my ankle for the telltale rash of Lyme's.

I'll be picking up some of the spray Permethrin solution for shoes, gaiters, socks, and pants legs. And a tick spoon, as tweezers work fine on other people and dogs, but not so great on my nearsighted self. My ankle, despite years of yoga, is still very far away from my eyes.

The river was lovely.

Magnolia Ranch is a better choice than Cronan Ranch if your goal is to see the river quickly and easily. There were a whole fleet of gold prospecters in the parking lot when I returned. We chatted about rattlesnakes and other interesting things. I wished them luck.

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