Wednesday, January 19, 2011

shootingstar ~ 01/19/11 ~ Fort Ord


Dodecatheon clevelandii ssp. sanctarum
Primulaceae

Here's my first spring wildflower post for 2011. And, there wasn't just one or two, there was a whole hillside covered in these padre's shootingstars (the common name given to the species as opposed to the subspecies). I've been telling my husband for years that spring essentially starts in mid-January along the Central Coast of California, but he still poo-poos this idea having hailed from colder Washington state and holding firmly to the "traditional" timing of seasons in the northern hemisphere. Who hasn't heard "in like a lion and out like a lamb" as a description for the month of March? Hey, where I live, that's a better description for January!

I'm having trouble getting clear shots of wildflowers with longer, delicate stems, especially when the wind blows almost non-stop around here. I was very disappointed to find most of my pictures were too fuzzy to post. Does anyone have any suggestions, besides picking the flowers and taking them home to photograph in the kitchen, or besides purchasing a spendy new fast-action camera?

ps 01/30/11 - I sometimes use the Fort Ord plant list to confirm my IDs and D. clevelandii ssp. sanctarum is the only Dodecatheon listed. Personally, I would not be able to easily distinguish between the 12 species records listed on Calflora.

9 comments:

texwisgirl said...

Wow! I thought our spring was early in Texas as it usually starts in later February. But wow! You have wildflowers! And no, I don't have any advice - especially if they're moving around on you. :)

Joe said...

Nice shots. We're still a good two months from spring here :(.

Nature ID (Katie) said...

twg and Joe, I appreciate seeing and reading about your local nature in cooler areas. I remember spotting daffodils as early as late February in Cleveland, but I'd hardly call them wildflowers. Sorry to rub it in, but it got close to the 70's while out hiking.

phyte club katie said...

Ah, yes! Wildflower season is upon us! Thanks for ringing it in with the shooting star. Do you know a book called "California's Wild Gardens?" It's basically akin to an atlas of great wildflower sites around the state. I keep telling myself I'm going to get a car and just.....go.....come February-June, but that's just a flowery daydream for now!
As for non-blurry skinny stem photos, I don't have any suggestions -- aside from putting the bloom in your hand and getting a super close-up of just the flower -- but I'll try to start paying attention and figure something out next time I'm out in the field.

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Katie, thanks for the book recommendation. For several years we've been wanting to do a spring road trip, too, especially to see the desert blooms, but every spring seems to be super busy for us.

j said...

I totally agree that spring starts around this time. It sure feels like it and my bees are so active right now!

Nature ID (Katie) said...

j, we'll have to get together soon and catch up. Love the photos you have online of the bee swarm.

Jennifer and Steve said...

Spring wildflowers....i'm so envious right now! We are in for another significant winter storm this week followed by cold temperatures. We are so ready for spring. We're tiring of all the work indoors, but know that very soon we will switch to outdoors. Gardening season is almost here! Are you from Ohio? If so, when did you transplant to California? How do you enjoy your location?

Nature ID (Katie) said...

J&S, brrr... I don't miss the cold out there. I grew up in CA, but spent 9 years in OH in Cleveland and Columbus (OSU). I love living on the coast, b/c growing up inland CA was way too hot in the summer (up to 114 °F). I readily admit I sometimes long for the lush woods, bogs, and fens of OH.