Wednesday, May 18, 2011


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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Vernal pool Wildflowers at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge

Two weekends ago I was lucky enough to join a group led by Steve Emmons (one of the managers of the Sacramento NWR complex) as we visited and photographed the vernal pools at Sac. I must confess that as a seasonal employee and volunteer for the CA Dept. of Fish and Game, I never noticed the beauty of the vernal pool wildflowers. Although the area we visited in not open to the public, you can find vernal pool wildflowers at the complex from Parking area D which is located on Norman Road several miles east of Interstate 5/Norman Rd. junction. Last weekend we snapped pictures of goldfields and downingea. Visit the Sac NWR website for more information.
With the warm temperatures we are experiencing this week on the Sacramento Valley floor, the spectacular wildflower season may have peaked. Last weekend, Bear Valley was still eye-popping gorgeous but we learned a valuable lesson: never go to Leesville and Bear Valley on the weekend of the Stonyford Rodeo. We encountered more cars in four hours than we had seen in over four years of visits. With the narrow, rough, gravel roads, most without shoulders, any vehicular traffic can seem like too much, but Saturday's visit was certainly marred by all those people. So head for the hills and chase those wildflowers; happy hunting! Visit for more tips on where to go.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hot Spots in Northern California

Hot spots for wildflowers this weekend in Northern California: Table Mountain(link to Sac Bee article) near Oroville, Butte College Wildlife area (nearby Table Mtn. off of Clark Rd.--no pets at Butte WA), and South Yuba River State Park (docent-led tours on weekends). The aforementioned areas are all public access areas but remember to respect the rights of property owners whenever you view wildflowers. Visit for more spots in CA and throughout the US.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wildflowers aren't the only thing...

When we aren't taking pictures of wildflowers, our second favorite subjects are birds and last weekends outing reminded us that wildflowers aren't the only things to capture when we are on photo-trips. We were on Bear Valley Road and ahead of us on the side of the road was some commotion, it looked like a larger bird flapping its' wings. As we got closer we realized that it was two birds and they were mating. But the real shocker was the type of bird: Geococcyx californianus (AKA Roadrunners)! Unfortunately, we had not yet unpacked the cameras and by the time we got them out only the male was visible, and just barely at that. The lesson: always have the camera ready as there might be more sites to capture than stationary wildflowers!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

On the road to Leesville

Tidytips, lupines, poppies and goldfields are starting to bloom on the road to Leesville, CA. The blooms are about two-weeks behind last year, but promises to be a real eye-popper! Remember, respect property owners rights while viewing wildflowers.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Where are they blooming?

We are looking for wildflowers in bloom. Join the community and post where you have spotted wildflowers in bloom; leave a comment and help us all enjoy nature's wonders.