Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 7, 2012

Table Mountain Wildflower Report April 6, 2012

Yesterday was a field trip  to Table Mountain in Butte County, CA to see wildflowers. There were few flowers in bloom on the roads up to Table Mountain from Oroville. We parked in the main parking lot, checked out the nearby vernal pools and rocky outcrops, followed the creek out to the waterfalls and wandered around the Preserve. Many flowers were in bloom but the peak probably will  happen in the next two weeks. There were many flowers in bloom at the Ecological Reserve itself. There were displays of Goldfields but not Sky Lupines (although many were are in bloom). There were lots of poppies, Johnnytuck, Volcanic Onion, Table Mountain Meadowfoam, Buttercup, and violets in bloom. We only found two Bitterroots (Lewisia rediviva) in bloom but many buds. The vernal pools were drying up and didn’t have a lot in bloom.

Goldfields at Table Mountain by Sandy Steinman

In addition to flowers there was also some bird activity, Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies and Western Fence Lizards.  We saw a Garter Snake who appeared to be posing for us.

Common Garter Snake by Sandy Steinman

However it turned out he was really hunting a Western Fence Lizard. We did get to see the snake strike and quickly win the battle.

Common Garter Snake and Western Fence Lizard by Sandy Steinman

Wildflower Slideshow

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I used Wildflowers of Table Mountain (2nd edition) by Samantha Mackey and Albin Bills for plant identification and choice of common name for flowers.

For more information on Table Mountain go to this older posting on Natural History Wanderings: Table Mountain Wildflower Report

To see plant and animal lists for today click read more:

Table Mountain Plant List April 6, 2012

Biscuit Root or Hog’s Fennel

Bitter-root (Lewesia rediviva) a few in bloom, many buds

Blue Dicks

Buttercups

California Pipevine (foliage only)

California Saxifrage

Douglas’ Violet

Dwarf Stonecrop (only in bud)

Fiddlenecks

Foothill Poppy

Frying Pan Poppy

Goldfields

Johnny Tuck

Kellogg’s Monkey-flower (deep red)

Oakwoods Violet

Popcorn

Purple Owl’s Clover

Red Maids

Sandwort

Seep Monkey-flower (yellow)

Sky Lupine (many plants no displays)

Table Mountain Meadowfoam

Valley Tassels

Volcanic Onion

White-tipped Clover

Woodland Star (pink and White varieties)

Woody Mountain Jewel Flower

Yellow Carpet (Blenbosperma nanum)

no Larkspurs, Pretty Face or Mariposa Lilies were seen

Goldfields by Sandy Steinman

Table Mountain Animals April 6, 2012

Birds

Turkey Vulture  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Northern Flicker  2
Common Raven  2
Horned Lark  2
Tree Swallow  7
Spotted Towhee  1
Western Meadowlark  1     heard only

other bird calls unable to ID

Butterflies

Pipevine Butterfly
a light colored butterfly that was unable to ID

Snakes and Lizards

Western Fence Lizard
Common Garter Snake

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Responses

  1. That’s a nice haul of wildflowers, and the snake vs. lizard is really cool!

    • Thanks. Definitely worth a trip up there anytime in the next two weeks. Less people on weekdays.

      • Hi Sandy,
        Thanks so much for the update! Do you think that the flowers will be “rained out” on this Sunday (rain is forecast for Wed-Fri). It’s a 2.5 hr journey up there for me and I don’t want to drive all that way if it’s most likely not going to be good. I’m just asking for a gut feeling, I know you can’t guarantee anything.

      • That’s a hard one to call. I would guess some flowers could take a beating, while others might do fine. You might try calling North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve call 916-358-2869. Also you try the Oroville Chamber of Commerce as they sometimes know about the wildflower bloom Toll Free 800.655.4653.

  2. Nice wildflower slideshow! Question – you have two frying pan poppies photos – one appears to be mislabeled. Would you please review? Thanks!

    • Thanks for the comments and looking at the slide show and blog posting. I know I often make mistakes but I think my labels are correct this time. Let me know what you think?
      I checked the Poppy descriptions in the Wildflowers of Table Mountain book They described the Frying Pan Poppy Eschscholzia lobbi as small flat and light yellow orange. The description of Foothill Poppy Eschscholzia caespitosa as less common than frying pans, darker orange, larger, bowl shaped and resembling California Poppies Eschescholzia california. It think this correlates with the two photos in the slide show.

      After looking at your email I found the photo you were referring to. It was not the two I am talking about above, but a photo of a Protea that I photographed at Blake Garden in Kensington. It was the result of a quirky behavior that wordpress sometimes does of loading a incorrect photo and a lack of proofreading and double checking on my part.

      Thanks for catching it.
      Comments, Feedback and Corrections are always very welcomed.

  3. Sandy, your wildflower photos are actually very, very nicely done, and the garter snake catching the fence lizard (photo) is just awesome. Your photo identifications seem accurate also. Great work.

  4. Anywhere on this page does it say what state this is???

    Why am I even having to search this hard.

    • It is in Butte County in California near the town of Oroville.

  5. Hi Sandy,
    Awesome pics!! Did you see any jewelflowers in bloom?


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