Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 29, 2016

Bear Valley & Walker Ridge 2/28/16

Where to photograph in California – Yahoo Groups (Calphoto) has a report for Bear Valley and Walker Ridge

Bear Creek and Walker Ridge. There is an odd difference in progress as you drive North along 16 until Rumsey, orchards are almost done blooming, oaks are leaving, and redbuds are in full bloom. After the bridge the poppies start, but more and more redbuds are in bud only, lots of grass, very few or no oaks leaving, a few mustards, shooting stars, and milkmaids in bloom, but fairly anemic. Cross 20 the dirt road is dry, but not dusty and very few flowers are out, a few poppies, a few milkmaids, some shooting stars, but not a lot else. Redbuds are not going yes and even the invasive Tamarisks are dormant. However, when the road goes up towards the right-turn and bridge, (do not miss the synchronized diving exercise of the very skittish turtles when you pass by) there are many Adobe lilies (Fritillaria pluriflora) in closely cropped grasses. That short grass is in stark contrast to the areas along Cache Creek, where grasses as overwhelming anything else.

Returning to Walker Ridge, again shooting stars and adobe lilies along the oak, manzanita shrub land. Unfortunately this area has been severely degraded by motorcycle activity with much damage done by ad-hoc trails. Butter and eggs, Dowengia (sparse) and owls clover are starting.

Along 20 East just before the lookout there is another spot with Adobe lilies along a graveled next to the road area. It just goes to show that location, location is the issue here. Things were much less farther along than the same time last year and not the same along the same 50 miles either. Nice trip, too many cars, motor cycles, and accidents thanks to the Almond days and Casino.


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