Modoc Easter

The Warner Mountains at sunrise.

It may be spring in the rest of California, but winter is only just beginning to loosen its grip on Modoc County.

Rock-hopping … the volcanic cone of Opahwah (AKA Rattlesnake Butte) rises from the floor of the Warm Springs Valley in the left background.

The ghostly pyramid of Mt. Shasta anchors the western horizon

The conditions are still too harsh for most flowers, but the California Goldfields (Lasthenia californica) are tough. This field  was buried in snow less than 24 hours before this picture was taken.

Phlox (probably Phlox diffusa) is another tough customer.

Road through incense cedar and juniper forest. The yellow groundcover is an alyssum of some kind.

Beams of sunshine illuminate the town of Alturas.

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4 Responses to Modoc Easter

  1. Lois DeFord says:

    Love your photos, and especially that you know all the names of the flowers and trees. Very informative!

  2. Chris L says:

    I’ve been immersed in Jaime de Angulo’s unpublished papers for awhile now, and much as I’d like to think I have a feel for his Big Sur landscapes, I’ve been meaning to get up into Achumawi (Pit River) lands, too. So I’m very intrigued by this trip of yours. I know Jaime wrote Franz Boas that he wouldn’t be able to do fieldwork with the Achumawi until June…because of snow.

  3. xasauan says:

    Reminders of de Angulo are certainly everywhere you look in the Pit River country. It’s difficult to pass through Bieber, for instance, without recalling de Angulo’s description of the inhabitants as “half-witted … uncouth pioneers” with whom he had a “hard time” making himself “understood.” Quite a statement from someone capable of making himself understood in more than a dozen languages!

    The rock-hopping photo was taken on the rimrock just above what was likely Jack Folsom’s place (where de Angulo witnessed so many scenes of shamanic “doctoring”). It’s about half way between Alturas and Canby (where the storekeeper reminisced about de Angulo being mistaken for an actor after accidentally walking onto a stage where a play was in progress with no pants and a bottle of whiskey).

    We do travel there fairly regularly, and I’ve often thought it would be interesting to sketch out and visit more of Modoc County’s de Angulo landscape. Maybe someday …

  4. mark says:

    Hi I was googling de Angulo around Shasta and your blog arose! my name is Mark Oliver I am beginning a film on Jaime, who are your two? Love to chat with you. mark@markoliver.org

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