So many wildflowers (and pictures) at Jepson Prairie and Healdsburg Ridge lately, I’ve been slow to choose some pictures and share. Just go there, now!
The Jepson Prairie is over 1500 acres in the Sacramento Valley with vernal pools and extravagant spring flowers. This is almost how California’s Central Valley used to be. It’s a windy spot, past that tower are hundreds of wind turbines.
Solano Land Trust is holding docent led tours of the Jepson Prairie, every Saturday and Sunday, 10 am, until Mother’s Day. It takes over 1.5 hours from here to get there, but it is well worth the effort. East on Hwy 12 past Suisun City, (or from Hwy 80 at Dixon) and then off Hwy 113 (Directions.)
The advantages to having a docent is to learn more about the area. (We tried to go a few years ago, but there was no rain, no lake and no wildflowers.) Our docent, had done some dipping in Olcott Lake so we could see fairy and tadpole shrimp.
The other reasons are that it helps with bird and flower identifications. Also with a group, maybe someone discovers something you would miss. While goldfields and filaree dominate the meadow —
there are plenty of other treats, such as fiddleneck
Butter and eggs
Violets (the yellow kind)
Meadowfoam (and it looked just like that sounds)
And this gorgeous sanicle
We also saw brass buttons and lupines and all the ones I’m forgetting or didn’t get id.
Everyone was taking pictures.
An avocet had a noisy conversation with a couple of stilts along the shore of Lake Olcott. Most birds kept their distance from us. And frankly I wasn’t paying a lot of attention. But if we had dawdled more over lunch, we might have noticed them more. Picnic tables and portapottie on site.
It was good to look around once in a while to appreciate the open space and for a view of Mt. Diablo.
If you can’t make it this year, then put it on your calendar for next April. One docent suggested visiting at least once every three weeks as the mix of plants would change and some will show up and some will be done blooming. Plan this trip, it’s an easy walk for a couple of hours – or you can shorten it.
Words and pictures by Lynn Millar, better pictures by Mike Millar available upon request.
See you on the trail!