Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bay Area Wildflowers in Winter

As I type out this post rain is beating hard on the thin window pane of our apartment - it sounds like winter outside. I've got a cup of hot coco near me - it smells like winter inside. Yet deep in the forest the signs of spring are creeping out from the soaking ground and letting their presence be known. Indeed the very first wildflowers of the year are beginning to bloom, not in abundance yet, but they're there to be found:

The state flower, The California Golden Poppy, is often not an early bloomer but a select few have started to jump out thanks to a run of unseasonably warm weather in the Bay Area. We spotted three or four specimines in full bloom over the weekend. In just a month they'll be joined by hundreds of others.

The Indian Paintbrush loves sun exposed terrain and is one of the first flowers to bloom. We spotted only two on the trail this weekend in Point Reyes, and only in the warmest and most exposed sections of trail.

Forget-me-Nots covered in winter frost near Glen Camp, Point Reyes. Where soon a full carpet of these tiny little blue eyed gems will be, now there are only a few early bloomers.

While other flowers are just beginning to bloom, the Iris is nearing its seasonal peak. The Iris will stick around late into the spring but they'll often look slightly wilted by early April.

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