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.

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