Palomar Mtn Sept. 1 2011
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Palomar Mountain 1 September 2011
© W.P. Armstrong 1 September 2011

Distant Marine Layer From South Grade Road

Views From Catwalk On The 200-inch Hale Observatory

The spiral galaxy of Andromeda was photographed from the 200-inch Hale Telescope on Palomar Mountain. Approximately 2 million light years away, it appears as a tiny blurred speck in the clear night sky. Like our own Milky Way galaxy it contains billions of stars. This remarkable image was not taken from the catwalk with my Nikon camera!

The 18-inch Schmidt Telescope: In 1993 the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was discovered by Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker and David Levy in this observatory. The following year this famous comet collided with the planet Jupiter.

A meadow of western braken fern (Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens).

Doane Pond, Palomar Mountain State Park

Pondweed (Potamogeton nodosus) and water milfoil (Myriophyllum sibiricum).

Trail To French Valley

Some oaks on Palomar Mountain: A. Canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis). B. Interior live oak (Q. wislizeni var. frutescens). C. Oracle oak (Q. x morehus), hybrid between "B" and "D."  D. California black oak (Q. kelloggii).

Acorns Deposited In Bark Of Fallen Ponderosa Pine By Acorn Woodpecker

Sprouting canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis).

Acorn of canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis).

A Patriarch Oak On The Trail To French Valley Passes Away.

The left image was scanned from a 35mm Ektachrome
color transparency. Picture was taken in March 1989.
This landmark canyon live oak lived among massive granitic boulders at the northeast end of Lower Doane Valley for centuries. Native Americans ground its acorns into meal in deep bedrock mortars beneath its huge canopy. It survived numerous fires during its lifetime, and grew on this site long before America was colonized by the British. It was known for the huge boulder embedded it its massive trunk. During the past 40 years I have brought many students to this tree to admire its remakable stature and perseverance. Even in death it still holds the record as one of the largest canyon live oaks, and it still holds on to the huge boulder that it enveloped so many years ago.

After reassuring Elaine and Stephanie that rattlesnakes would be easy to spot along this trail, I walked about two feet from this large Southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis ssp. helleri) without even noticing it! Maybe I was in deep thought, reminiscing about all the wonderful memories under my favorite oak tree.

A large Southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis ssp. helleri).

A forked ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in Lower Doane Valley.

Late Afternoon Views From Boucher Lookout

Looking west toward Camp Pendleton and the cloud-covered Pacific ocean in the distance.

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