Sometimes, I wish I could be more like Ferdinand the bull. You remember Ferdinand, right? The character in Munro Leaf’s children’s story who preferred to spend his time in the field smelling the flowers rather than fighting in the bull ring? I’d like to be more like that. I’ve grown weary of the ring.
I’ve been told that the carpet of purple and golden wild blossoms lining Old Forty Four between Millville and Whitmore appears every spring, but this is the first year I’ve really noticed it. Perhaps it’s all the rain we’ve gotten this winter. Or maybe I was finally just ready to notice.
I suppose one reason I’ve ignored the flowers in the past is because I don’t know much about them. I don’t even know their names. But the scenery along Old Forty Four has been so beautiful this year, I felt compelled to stop and capture it with my camera, before the inevitable late spring heat arrives and burns the landscape tawny-brown.
Even though I didn’t know any of their names, I figured I could look the flowers up on the internet, because nowadays you can look up everything on the internet. I wasn’t disappointed. I was able to identify all of the wild flowers I photographed at www.wildflowerresearch.com. Maybe I’ll even be able to remember their names.
Old Forty Four is one of Shasta County’s quintessential country roads, a black ribbon of mostly smooth pavement that winds its way past ranches, hillsides and grassland. The traffic is fairly sparse and there are several long straightaways with pullouts where you can stop and smell the flowers. If you haven’t been out this way for a while, you owe it to yourself. Please drive carefully.
In the meantime, please enjoy the slide show!