Superbloom, Orange County Style
Santiago Creek runs from high in the Santa Ana Mountains down through my hometown of Orange, into the Santa Ana River, and then another ten miles to the Pacific Ocean. While I’m posing on a branch here for the sake of a foot-selfie, when I cross the creek it’s right through the delicious cool flow . . . a privilege only enjoyed by the shoeless!
This winter, the creek’s been flowing for weeks, and when the creek’s flowing, that means there’s been enough rain for WILDFLOWERS.
Just like the ridiculous bird that kept croaking “I’m cuckoo for CocoPuffs” back in the 1980s, I’m “cuckoo for wildflowers”!
So here’s just a few from the last week’s wanderings:
Above: Catalina mariposa lily.
Above: Paintbrush (a root parasite that gets some nutrition from its neighbors)
Our most super-blooming flower so far this spring: wild hyacinth.
Parry’s phacelia and California poppies: color wheelin’.
Johnny jump-ups hide in the grasses.
Stinging lupine, to be admired from a safe distance.
Love those lupines!
Wild morning glory with a patch of rattlesnake plant at its base.
Bye-bye barbed wire . . . the wild cucumber vine is devouring it.
Tangy lemonade berries are everywhere!
The hills are a-humming!
This friendly critter climbed right up when I paused to admire his hairdo.
And . . . a final ten-toe skinny-dip in Santiago Creek on the way back to the car. The dry season is so long here, with no rain from April to November . . . and even our rainy seasons have been skimpy the last several years . . . so this spring feels like us Orange Countians have won the wildflower lottery! (And it’s not even officially spring yet!)