April 27, 10 am.
Walking out the Berry Creek Road towards Davis Creek Bridge, I am amazed at how much lusher and green the fields have grown since I was last here two weeks ago. The grass is now higher than my knees and my legs are getting very wet as I make my way across this field. The verdant green is mixed with the rich yellows of various buttercup species, such as Ranunculus occidentals var. eisenii, Western buttercup The bright yellow of this flower is especially pleasing with the Purple Camus, Camassia quamash ssp. linearis.This beautiful violet colored plant grows in areas where the water accumulates because it needs to have its roots wet through the blooming period. The wetlands in the northern part of the mitigation lands become, what was labeled as, “ A sea of blue” by the botanists who were cataloging the plants there in the early 1990s.
Of course, the sound of all the newly arrived spring birds singing is catching my attention but today I am concentrating on the flowers, next blog I will focus on the new spring migrants!
Another yellow flower that greets me, as I walk along the road, is the yellow Butter-and-eggs, Owls Clover, Triphysaria eriantha. It is a hemiparasite that taps into the roots of other plants to get some of its nutrients. One other plant that stands out is an elegant grass which right now seems to be in full bloom. I am not sure what species of grass it is, but I think it is the large upright Santa Barbara sedge, Carex barbarae. The grasses are the dominant species in the pastures that surround me. One of the unusual and pretty ones is the California semaphore grass, Pleuropogon californicus var davyi. These grasses are growing on the edges of the deeper water where there are some ducks still swimming about.
The clouds have now covered the blue sky and it begins to rain as I turn back. I am caught in a steady downpour by the time I reach my car. This rain means there will be more flowers coming in May!