Winsome wildflowers

We are now in the midst of summer, and while the sizzling temperatures have eased — for the moment — every day seems to bring warnings of new wildland fires somewhere in California. Per my weather app, the nearest active fire to me this afternoon is 44 miles away. Yesterday though, the Sac Metro Fire Department responded to two separate […]

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Killdeer

One of these mornings I’m going to get myself back over to the vernal pools at Phoenix Park to visit the birds — and hopefully spend more than 45 minutes, which was all I had on my last trip. Even in that small amount of time, I saw Crows, Ravens, Canada Geese, Goldfinches, Black Phoebes, and a handful of Killdeer. […]

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Springtime visitors

I didn’t see a great variety of vernal pool flowers when I visited Phoenix Park last Tuesday, but the aptly named Goldfields are blanketing the depressions, accentuated by a few pale pink Checkermallow. I also noticed (but didn’t photograph) quite a lot of yellow Fiddleneck and Butter ‘n eggs, and the small invasive pink-purple Filaree are literally everywhere. My personal […]

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Waiting for the bloom

Just when I started to think that winter was over and spring weather had arrived, we had a couple more storms move through our area and drop a fair amount of rain. That’s good news for the vernal pools and the creatures that call them home. It also means that the flowers that burst out from around the pools aren’t […]

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Dry season

The morning sun was already bearing down at 8 AM today as I paid a visit to the vernal pools at Phoenix Park in Fair Oaks. Not surprisingly, all of the visible water is long gone, along with those briefly blooming beauties like the downingia, goldfields, and fivespot. Walking the mile-long circuit, I saw tons of purple vetch and hawkbit, […]

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Acres of flowers

The vernal pool dry season is underway, and it’s already gorgeous! I can’t imagine how the acres and acres at Mather Field must look; the small patch of nature at Phoenix Park in Fair Oaks is already busting out with native wildflowers like checkerbloom, frying pan poppies, gold fields, and downingia. I did look for the elusive vernal pool monkey […]

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Sunday at Splash

A couple of days ago I mentioned my visit to Sacramento Splash, located at Mather Field (a former Air Force Base). I didn’t shoot as many pictures as I would have liked, but I still had a great time and learned a few things about vernal pools and the flowers that grow in and around them. I’m now looking forward […]

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Phoenix Park egrets

The Canada geese weren’t a big surprise, but I didn’t expect to find a pair of egrets visiting the vernal pools at Phoenix Park (near the bluffs in Fair Oaks). I wasn’t able to get too close, and since I was only passing through the park on my way toward Lake Natoma, I decided not to stick around and try […]

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