An ultrabasic spring (pH > 11) where calcium carbonate is a byproduct of serpentinization. [Serpentinization as defined by Roger Raiche = "a process where igneous ultramafic mantle rock (peridotite) is metamorphosed into secondary serpentine minerals.]
A water strider (and its more obvious shadow) on the surface of the pool downstream from the spring:
Mineral Falls (~20-feet high):
At the top of the falls, I couldn't help exclaiming, "What sedge is that?" upon encountering this showy inflorescence:
When David answered that it was Cotton Grass, I smiled, and thought to myself, "Of course." I recognized the genus from seeing it in New England and Canadian bogs, but hadn't seen it yet in California. Be forewarned: the first half of the common name is accurate (it does look like cotton), but the second half is misleading, i.e., it's not a grass. Perhaps it should be called Cotton Sedge? [This is Calliscirpus criniger, formerly Eriophorum criniger.]
And one more image from The Cedars, although I wish I had an audio recording to share. Some of you know how much I appreciate listening to the sounds of landscapes. While listening to The Cedars, the sounds I will remember most will include the piercing scream of a Peregrine Falcon, the distant call of a raven...and the most common sounds — running water, sometimes close, sometimes far, running over rocks...and singing Black-throated Gray Warblers (Setophaga nigrescens). I like thinking about their songs carrying across that open landscape, connecting the stands of cypress trees on the slopes and in the ravines.