Butterfly on lilacBloom Blog      

Welcome to our wildflower viewing reports.




April 14, 2015
A note to our readers: Be sure to check out Joe Willis's blog. There is tons more information there. Did you know Joe is available to lead group hikes to view nature? He is!

Here is more of Joe's report from the weekend:
Snow PlantWe started hiking from the Southpark Trailhead for the first time, and found a few surprises. There was very little underbrush among the widely spaced young pines and firs, but we were started to see a bright red glow some 50 feet off the trail.

Snow PlantTurned out to be a couple of patches of Snow Plant. At 3,500', that's the lowest elevation that I've ever encountered them.







Popcorn flowerI don't know how I spotted the little white flowers, all of 1/4" in diameter on stems only 4 or 5" tall.


Popcorn flowerI think it's either popcorn Flower or White Stickseed. Definitely something in the borage family, the family that includes Forget-me-nots.







Paianted lady butterflyThe first butterfly activity in my yard this season was several Painted Ladies that discovered my best-in-the-neighborhood crop of Dandelions. We only hiked as far as the Monument Peak traihead, but saw lots of Henderson's Shooting Star, Death Camas, and Dusky Horkelia, all of which have been pictured here earlier.








April 8, 2015
Joe Willis was out and about again over the weekend - here's his report:
Seen just north of Oakland Camp on dirt road to Gilson Creek. This was Saturday, before the dusting of snow. This moisture should bring out a few more species soon.
So far, in response to warmth and drought, I'm seeing some species blooming before their stems and leaves have fully matured. In this batch of photos it's particularly true of the Phlox and the Umbrella Plant (formerly known as Indian Rhubarb). Maybe the current rainy spell will cause some of these to fatten up.

 Arrowleaf Balsamroot
Arrowleaf Balsamroot
 Pine Violet
Pine Violet
Showy Phlox
Showy Phlox
 California Buttercup
California Buttercup
Umbrella Plant
Umbrella Plant



April 3, 2015

We;re happy to share another report from Joe Willis:

On April Fool's Day I found two more species of wildflowers blooming. 

ToothwortThe Stout-beaked Toothwort, a member of the mustard family, is blooming near the spot where Butterfly Creek and Butterfly Valley Road meet Highway 70.  It is likely to be blooming in similar habitats such as the Keddie Cascades Trail. 



Wild GingerLemmon's Wild Ginger has started to bloom in shady spots by flowing water on the Feather River College campus.









March 30, 2015

Joe Willis did make it out to Oakland Camp over the weekend. Here's his report.....

Wildflowers are beginning to "pop" around Oakland Camp, but the signs of drought are more obvious than ever and I don't expect the wildflower season to last very long or to be as intense as in normal years. I saw no Indian Rhubarb starts, for instance, and most of the mid-stream clumps of sedge and grasses they grow from were high and dry.

What I have called "another mustard" is in the same family, the mustard family, as the rock cress and may well be in the same genus.  I'm not sure.  What I call "flying flowers" because of their bright colors are the Common Merganser.  There are new leaves of many other species appearing, but we're going to need some rain if many of them get to mature and bloom.

 Mustard
Another Mustard
Elegant Rock Cress
Elegant Rock Cress
Chickweed
Checkweed
Red Larkspur
Red Larkspur
Buttercup
Buttercup and beetle
Bigleaf Maple
Bigleaf Maple
Mergansers
Flying Flowers


March 28, 2015
Today's report from Joe Willis gives a summary of his recent findings around Quincy.

Joe's report: "Here are a few photos from the last few days of flowers growing around Quincy. Mostly at the college and nearby. Today I'm going to the Oakland Camp area again and hiking along the west side of Spanish Creek. Will report later today on my findings. The Dutchman's Pipevine shown here is growing in a secret spot in downtown Quincy."

Dutchman's Pipevine
Dutchman's Pipevine
 Henbit
Henbit
 Forsythia
Forsythia
 Gooseberry
Gooseberry
 Oregon Grape
Oregon Grape
 Meadow Foam
Meadow Foam

 


March 24, 2015

 

We have a new report today from Joe Willis. Very interesting information, not only on wildflowers, but on hiking trails around Quincy. Joe writes:
What used to be called the Keddie Cascades Trail, together with the area's many deer paths, has undergone a lot of revision recently, and there are now signs and maps galore. On Sunday, we began our hike at a trail head by the bridge over Spanish Creek on the Oakland Camp Road. It's across the road from the popular swimming hole. We started off on what is called the Spanish Traverse. If we had stayed on this trail, I think we would have come out in the vicinity of the Keddie Cascades. But, we opted to head further up hill by taking what was called the Spanish Ridge loop.

Altogether we hiked close to five miles and found a surprising number of spring wildflowers blooming. There's one purple species I haven't yet identified, but it looks like it might be a Penstemon. Some of them were so fleshy and beautiful, they looked like they could have come as potted plants in a nursery, despite the very dry soil, or even apparent lack of soil. It's obvious the area has been logged, probably several times, and much of it has inadequate soil fro growing trees. This, Manzanita, Black Oak, Buck Brush, and Silk Tassel Bush dominate the drier hills. At the highest point on the ridge trail there were abundant patches of Death Camas ( a lily) and Shooting Star. These areas were relatively flat and had a fair amount of soil consisting mostly of pine needles. We saw the early leaves of lots of species that haven't bloomed yet and this promises an interesting spring. Among those is the Heart-leaf Milkweed pictured here. There were also lots of Lupine, Horkelia, Fennel, Pennyroyal, and various lilies.

 Blue-eyed Mary
Blue-eyed Mary
Heart-leaf-Milkwood
Heart-leaf-Milkweed
Pine Violet
Pine Violet
 Pine Violet
Pine Violet
Rock Garden
Rock Garden
 Shelton's Violet
Shelton's Violet
 Shooting Star
Shooting Star
 Shooting Star
Shooting Star



March 23, 2015
As promised, Joe Willis sent us six more photos from his trip to Table Mountain last week. He sent this report with his photos, and another promise of more to come! Here's his report:
My first submissions from Table Mountain were of the more plentiful wildflowers that everyone who hikes there sees. Today I'm sending photos of some that many people never see. They are either relatively uncommon or are good at hiding in crevices and other shady places. All but the Manroot can be found as high as the Quincy elevation a month or so later than at Table Mountain.
Some spring wildflowers are starting to appear around Quincy, so I'll send some photos I took yesterday around Oakland Camp.

 Bird's-Foot Fern
Bird's-foot Fern
California Manroot
California Manroot
 Bush Lupine
Bush Lupine
Mountain Jewelflower
Mountain Jewelflower
 Wild Hyacinth
Wild Hyacinth
Three-parted Woodland Star
Three-parted Woodland Star




March 16, 2015

Intrepid reporter and photographer Joe Willis really outdid himself over the weekend. He and his son ventured down to Table Mountain, just outside Oroville, and sent this report and wonderful photos:
We drove down Feather River Canyon early Saturday morning and saw several species of wildflowers blooming: Red Larkspur, Wall Flower, Bush Monkeyflower, Redbud, and Waterfall Buttercup. We didn't stop because we had a long hike planned for Table Mountain. It turned out to be a lot longer than we planned because we got a bit lost. Probably covered at least 15 miles.

The effects of drought years were apparent, but even a below-average year on Table Mountain is still spectacular. The warm and partly cloudy day offered perfect lighting for flower photography. Here's a baker's dozen from our trip. I'll send another 7 or 8 soon.

There were lots of people - some arriving by tour bus! Seeing that was a first for me! Lots of bicycles, cars, and possible some walked from nearby homes. Lots of dogs, kites, and portable musical devices near the parking lot. But after hiking just a short distance we found more flowers than people and it was quite pleasant. My memory card was filled before the end of our hike so I missed getting photos of some great flowers like Fairy Lanterns, Tidy Tips, and various species of Phacelia and Larkspur.

Some some fine waterfalls, too, but got confused and never found our main objective, Phantom Falls. We did find another impressive waterfall that looked like a slightly smaller version of Phantom Falls, complete with a cave behind the cascade and lots of Dippers visiting. I'm going to try to figure out where we went by studying Google Earth. Then maybe I'll find out which waterfall we visited. Remember, "not all who wander are lost."

 
Table Mountain Icons
 
Table Mountain Meadowfoam
 
Sky Lupine

Seep Monkeyflower
 
Purple Owl's Clover
 
Fiddleneck

Kellogg's Monkeyflower
 
Bird's Eye Gilia

Dutchman's Pipe

Douglas Violet
 
Bitterroot
 
California Newt

Goldfields and friends


March 10, 2015
We're still enjoying our spring weather here in Plumas County, and the days have been perfect for short trips to enjoy the
wildflowers. True to his word, Joe Willis did take a jaunt around Quincy over the weekend, and sent this report (and some good advice)
and photos:
Things are blooming in Plumas County at the Quincy elevation, but most will not be noticed while driving. I recommend that  people pull off the roads in safe places and walk around looking carefully among the blades of grass and the remnants of  last season's "weeds." Only then will your eyes and brain adjust to seeing the pretty little white, pink, and yellow spring wildflowers. My most productive stops over the weekend were the nature trail on the FRC campus and the Old Keddie Highway, just 4.1 miles north of Quincy, that takes you to the head of the Keddie Cascades Trail.

 
Dusky Horkelia

Henbit
 
Filaree

Lemon Willow
 
Elegant Rock Cress

Milkmaids