Sunday, April 04, 2010

California's Spring Wildflowers


Today was one of those unpredictable days, where rain was forecast and the sky looked threatening. But it was also ... SPRING. We just had to get outside, and see the beautiful ephemeral wildflowers. Sure, it would have been easy to sit at home, and stay snuggled under a blanket. But the flowers (and letterboxes) were calling out to us.

There was rain and wind. But look what we got to see! Wild Hyacinths, otherwise known as Blue Dicks. I'm sure there was a time that this didn't make thirteen-year-old boys giggle furiously, but I can't imagine when that time might have been.

Tiny cheerful, and downright odd-looking Shoe Buttons. I love the spiky pollen!

I was thinking about old-fashioned shoes as we were walking. I wore hiking shoes, which turned out to have incredible mud-accumulating qualities, and no waterproof-ness at all. When it rains, I often think about people with worse shoes than mine, and of animals and their wet paws.

Robb and I shared a pair of gloves. He needs to keep one hand free, to hold his walking stick, and I was messing around with a camera. We each had one glove, which worked out remarkably well.

Johnny Jump Ups are a decidedly un-violet form of violets. These are larger than most wild violets, but smaller than pansies. The markings in the center are a warm orangey-brown

I think this is a Long-Beaked Storksbill. These are named for their seed pods, that are thought to resemble the beaks of storks or cranes. Look at the crazy-colored pollen.

The trails were surrounded with the more invasive (and tiny) Red-Stemmed Storksbill. They are very pretty, but have become a pest.

It always seems to be stupidly windy when I decide to photograph wildflowers. So many of the photos were terribly blurry. However, sometimes I liked the effect.

I also found the dried husk of last year's flowers very appealing. Imagining a field full of these flowers is very pleasant. Maybe we'll even return in time to see this year's blooms.

I've been trying to find seeds for these Common Fiddlenecks. I think that the spiral form of this flower is fascinating, and I'm delighted these plants are a food source for Lesser Goldfinches.

When I've looked for these seeds online, all I find are websites advising gardeners on how to remove these plants from their yards.


I only saw one Star-Lily today. And the wind was furiously blowing, so my photos are particularly bad. The flower is lovely, despite my poor photography skills.

Robb spotted this bright orange fungus, growing on a fallen oak. I think it is Witch's Butter. I'm too tired and lazy to dig through my mushroom books.

Seeing the wildflowers was lovely, but the best thing about today was getting outside, and taking a long, and not particularly easy walk. I'm still so thankful that Robb is able to walk, considering the paralysis in his legs and feet. I know that the act of walking isn't easy for him, but I'm so happy that he keeps at it.


Sylvana said...

These flowers sure are a great motivator to get out and walk :)

sharp green pencil said...

Lovely flowers and even lovelier photography! My good camera is broken so I am having to make do with a very basic one! I am very VERY glad I didnt see your egg decorating post earlier as I would have dropped everything and rushed out and bought that egg decorating thing! and spent many happy hours playing which I have no time to do at the moment.

PS...Your yawning cormorant is fabulous!

wassamatta_u said...

Giggling furiously. said...

I've always called it witches brains!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Beautiful part of the country! I love your photos of the flowers that I never see here.


Naseer said...

Those photos are just excellent! Also, great news about Rob trying to walk. Keep up the great work, both of you!


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