Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Ridge Lakes Trail Wildflowers ☼ Lassen Volcanic National Park

Our first hike to Ridge Lakes in Lassen Volcanic National Park was in October of last year and we didn't see a single wildflower. Then, in early August of this year, we re-hiked the trail and WOW there were wildflowers everywhere!

It's amazing how much landscape can change throughout the seasons. As much as I'd love to see flowers blooming all year long, that small window of time when they come out to say hello and cheer up our day is all the more special...



Read all about our hike to Ridge Lakes HERE.






Wednesday, November 27, 2019

🙐 Forever Thankful for Wildflowers 🙑


Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunflower ~ Sutter National Wildlife Refuge ~ Mid-August

🍂

Here's to a second slice of pumpkin pie, cozy sweaters, and steamy hot apple cider!



Sunday, November 24, 2019

Blue Wildflowers 🎕 Northern California

Whenever I see a blue wildflower, I have to admit I get a little bit giddy and a whole lot happy! Here are a few of my favorites...


This Chicory (Cichorium intybus) looks purple next to the other flowers in this post, but I swear it's blue when you see it with your own two eyes out in nature! I've been lucky to spot Chicory on the way to Lassen VNP and at the Sutter NWR.


These next two flowers are Stickseed, but I've had a heck of a time trying to determine which kind. They can be found in Lassen VNP in early July and look a lot like Forget-me-nots! Gosh, they're a pretty sight when you're hiking down (or up!) a trail.



I think I'm saving the best for last with Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii). This photo is from Ten Mile Beach in Fort Bragg, CA and I can't wait to go back again in early-May to see them again!


Well, unfortunately there aren't a lot of blue wildflowers. Or at least I haven't come across that many yet anyway. I think that's what makes them that much more beautiful and fun to photograph.

What color flower makes you excited to pull over and snap some photos? If you're anything like me, it doesn't really matter. I brake for all wildflowers!




Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Wildflowers of the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area ☼ Where to find wildflowers in Northern California

My visit to Gray Lodge Wildlife Area this spring is what started my love of wildflowers. Sure, I always enjoyed seeing them on my travels, but that early April morning is when I saw my first Wild Radishes growing and decided to zoom in on them with my camera. And then there were the Milk Thistle, Wild Roses and Lavender... I went there for the birds and came away with a new hobby!

Ever since, I've improved my wildflower photography and have been on a mission to learn their names. I knew it would be a challenge, but I guess I didn't realize how many different wildflowers in my area there actually are! Life's all about learning, though, right?

Here's a video of all those wonderful spring blooms so you can enjoy their beauty, too.






Sunday, November 17, 2019

Orange Wildflowers 🎕 Northern California

It's time to celebrate some of the beautiful orange wildflowers I've spotted growing around northern California!


First off, is the Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum) growing in Lassen VNP. We spotted this particular flower along the side of the road through the park in Mid-June, but we also saw several when we hiked to Ridge Lakes in early-August, too.


The next orange wildflower should get an award for most adorableness and greatest name. I present to you the Menzies' Fiddleneck (Amsinckia menziesii) we saw on the Logan Creek trail of the Sacramento NWR in late-March. I told you it was cute!

logan creek trail

This Sulphur-flower Wild Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum) is technically considered a yellow flower, but this one looks pretty orange to me and I'm including it because of its incredible location. We spotted this one on the trail up Brokeoff Mountain. (Lassen VNP, Late-August)

brokeoff mountain hiking trail

And finally, I don't think I could consider myself a true Californian if I didn't include Poppies (Eschscholzia californica) in today's post. No, these aren't from the super-bloom in Southern California, they're a humble little cluster growing at the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge in late-April.


What is your state flower? Do you love it or do you wish it was something else? (🤣 Bonus points if I just made you look up your state flower!!!)




Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Lupine 🎕 Lassen Volcanic National Park


Not only are Lupine leaves beautiful, the flowers themselves are quite exquisite. 


There are several different varieties in Lassen Volcanic National Park, but identifying each individual one can be a tedious, time-consuming and frustrating task. So, for the sake of my sanity, I'm posting a few today under the umbrella name of simply "Lupine" and we're just gonna leave it at that. Hey, maybe these are all the same species and I've been trying to narrow them down for no reason!

Shadow Lake ~ Early-September
Juniper Lake ~ Early-July

Brokeoff Mountain Trail ~ Late-August
Manzanita Creek Trail ~ Mid-July

Ridge Lakes ~ Early-August

In time, I'm sure I'll figure out how to easily differentiate between specific species, but for now I'll just enjoy their beauty and learn as I go. I learned bird species, didn't I? (Refer to my birding blog Wings and Daydreams.) At first, I'm sure I thought everything was a sparrow and then I learned to tell the difference. Time, I just need time.

Have you recently discovered how difficult it can be to identify certain wildflowers? Even the apps and websites I've found to be useful don't always narrow them down all the way, or even correctly.

Dammit, Jim! I'm a writer, not a botanist!

Heck, I just learned that I've been saying the word "lupine" incorrectly my whole life. Raise your hand if you pronounce it loo-pin instead of loo-pine and I've got a shiny gold star for ya...



Sunday, November 10, 2019

Pink Wildflowers 🎕 Northern California

Pink wildflowers make me happy. Then again, all wildflowers make me happy. But, for the sake of today's post, I'm choosing a few of my favorite pinks...


I think this Sweet Pea growing alongside the road in Mineral is, well, sweet. Anytime I can spot wildflowers on my way to a different location to see wildflowers is okay by me! (Late-June)


This Laurel was also growing on the side of the road, but inside Lassen Volcanic National Park instead. (Late-June)


I think this Fireweed we spotted on the Kings Creek Falls trail has one of the coolest names and is pretty darn spectacular as far as flowers go. (Lassen VNP, Late-August)


Lastly, this Sacramento Waxydogbane is on the list not only because of its beauty, but because of its location. It was growing next to the firelookout tower at the top of Mount Harkness. (Lassen VNP, Early-July)


So, it turns out there are quite a few different varieties of pink wildflowers growing in and around Lassen Volcanic National Park. I know I'm leaving off tons of pink favorites, but I'll get around to posting them all eventually!

How about you? Do you see any of your favorites on this list?