Friday, April 11, 2014

California Wildflowers

This Thursday past Dwight and I joined a large group divided into four, each with a leader, to visit the privately owned Van Hooser Wildflower Preserve not far off Arnold Drive in Sonoma, Calfornia. The Sonoma Ecology Center offers walks here to enjoy the spectacular land of which so little remains in Sonoma County.

On our walk 
we could see the sadly barren landscape on adjacent property where the water was funneled to water grapes and the land plowed. The stark contrast was so telling.

Near the beginning of the four or so mile walk I noted the hugest Buckeye tree I have ever seen. In evidence also were four oak species. The contrast of their leaf color was so beautiful: the deciduous oak leaves were lighter and the live oaks a very deep, dark green.

Wavy leaf soap plant of which many
were visible near where the walk commenced.
Checkerbloom in the foreground
with Sun cup behind.
This Narrow-leaved mule ear is just beginning to flower.
And the Coast mule ears with their wider, darker
green leaves were also just beginning to flower.
The massive number of plants portended a
spectaclar display as the weather warms.

One of many outcroppings of Sky Lupine.

Purple sanicle


Pacific snakeroot

Lace pod
gorgeous huge old oak snag with its many barren branches
 filled with acorns to feed many families of woodpeckers.
One of many Northern California poppy displays seen.
Popcorn flower seen on the descent into the parking area.
See the caterpillar-like seed pod forming?
Caterpillar plant is another common name for this plant.
In evidence also were many blooming Meadowfoam, Tidy Tips, California buttercups, California golden violet, Iris, Blue eyed grass, Storks bill, with Yarrow just beginning to bloom. I was so very happy to see many of the plants that grow here at MuRefuge in their chosen native habitat. Such observation provides so much information about the plant, not only where it thrives but with whom. Such a wonderful outing!

As we did often on our walk, may you


  1. Beautiful! Where I am the coastal iris are in full bloom and the azaleas are out in force too right now as well as sun cups, blue eyed grass, english daisies, star lillies and camus. I LOVE spring.

  2. An email I received: "Hi Cathie,I really enjoyed your pictures of the wild flowers.Thanks so much dear,xoxo,vivien

  3. I smiled throughout your photos and notes. They remind me of some things I love most in life! Thank you so much, Kate

  4. Another email: "Hi Cathie, Awesome pics and updates....THANK YOU so much for all the interesting info!!Big hugs & LOVE, Vickie