Springtime continues its march here along California’s north coast, and we’re starting to see the Camas pop up in the meadows here at Sea Ranch. The first image shows a nice close up of Camassia quamash var. linearis in the meadow along the west side of the Azalea Loop Trail here on the Ranch. We see this plant here in early spring, and it flowers for only a month or two. At one time, when the western Indians dominated our landscape, Camas was considered one of their most important food sources. Seeing it only in small sparsely distributed patches today, it’s hard to believe that this member of the lily family once grew in solid tracks stretching for miles. I would have loved to have seen that.
In the next image, I’ve taken a 7-shot HDR image of a small forest stream along the Azalea Loop Trail. The predominant plant lining the stream in this image is the Fringed Corn Lily (Veratrum fimbriatum), a plant which is locally abundant but occurs nowhere else. This member of the Lily family leafs out in spring, but doesn’t flower until winter. It also occurs in the meadows in wet soil conditions. This plant is currently under consideration for additional protection under the California Endangered Species Act.
The final image shows one of my favorite little flowers, the Forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica). A member of the Borage Family, this little flower pops up in early spring, and is usually found in forests and in moist shady spots along the highway. I shot this group along the Gualala River near the Hot Spot. I had a difficult time shooting it along the highway as it’s a rather delicate plant and it doesn’t take much wind to make photographing it rather difficult. Finding it in the deep woods of the Hot Spot minimized the wind and allowed me to get a better shot.
It’s been fun getting out and finding these little treasures dotting the landscape here. Unfortunately it also means getting low to the ground which, no matter what equipment you have, is tough on older knees and backs. Actually, it’s not the getting down that’s the problem; it’s the getting up again. It’s worth it though, but I might start thinking about taking more landscape shots in the near future. Enjoy spring wherever you are!
Equipment: Nikon D3s; Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 lens (Image 1); and 17-35mm f2.8 lens (Images 2 and 3).
P.S. Elaine Mahaffey’s book “Wildflowers of Sea Ranch” was a great help in providing background on these plants.