California Native Plant Society–Orange County Chapter Field Trip to the Irvine Ranch
Dr. Jutta Burger, Senior Field Ecologist from the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, led 20+ members of our local Orange County chapter of the California Native Plant Society to view the spring bloom today in the Lomas de Santiago–the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. Below are a few photos from our adventures . . .
I had never even heard of this plant, let alone seen it, but I love both the name–whispering bells–and its understated elegance:
We met only a few Catalina mariposa lilies today, but once again I marveled at what secret gardens the pale pink teacup flowers contain:
It’s been a wet and cool spring, resulting in few butterfly sightings, but we did come across a California ringlet paused on the Limestone Ridge road, taking a break from its grass-flitting.
All along this section of road: shiny yellow California buttercups galore, color-coordinated with neighboring blue-eyed grass:
As we drove above and through Limestone Canyon, Jutta pointed out where several different research studies were taking place. Not too far from the Augustine staging area, a multi-plot grassland restoration experiment had an abundance of pink owl’s clover in full bloom:
Spring in the foothills of Orange County! Lilting with bird song, fragrant with elderberry blossoms, sparkled with wildflower jewels . . . how many of Orange County’s three million residents appreciate their wild neighborhoods?
It makes me want to write a poem. (or a blog post…)
But today I’ll let Carroll DeWilton Scott sing of spring in the chaparral: “When April Comes” is from his 1957 book, California Nature Poems; here’s the closing stanza:
When April Comes
When April comes, I too am glad,
And I rejoice with brook and bird
And with them offer thanks that skies are blue;
And like the willing honey-bee
I gather sweets and golden dust
To store within my soul the season through.