Friday, April 8, 2011


California goldfields
Lasthenia californica
Asteraceae

It's still a little early for an impressive showing of goldfields, but this is the closest I've been able to get a picture. If and when I see them, it's usually from a distance during our annual drive out Carmel Valley Road, pouring down hills in rivers of gold from mid to late April. The sky lupine (Lupinus nanus) is just starting to show itself (there are a handful in the second picture above). The two often bloom together here in Monterey County in great swaths of purple and gold.

ps 04/14/11 - I was wracking my brain trying to figure out where I gained the term "rivers of gold" and then it struck me that I got it from fellow blogger Chris Grinter of The Skeptical Moth. Click on his blog name to link to more illustrative photos of what these flowers can look like from a distance. He took his pictures March 27-28, 2010 in San Luis Obispo County. I've been very interested in the timing of flowers. It seems to me that much of it has to do with how far south and how far inland one is. Of course, we've had unusual weather this year with temps in the mid-70's in January and no rain for a month and a half, then snow here on the coast in March and April. I'm curious to see how the natural wildflower "shows" progress this spring.

9 comments:

texwisgirl said...

they're beautiful. remind me of our buttercups.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

These are getting me excited for my upcoming annual wildflower tour. I plan to forego the desert this year and explore the central coast and central valley for wildflowers.

Nature ID (Katie) said...

JL, let me know when you head this way and I may be able to offer some suggestions for great wildflower finds.

Ja es said...

I love these. By the each they're okay, but whole gold fields of them--like you point out--is one of the more amazing spring wildflower displays.

Allison said...

I agree with Theresa... buttercups! Beautiful prairie land.

I really enjoyed your comment about the door, Katie. I have felt the same as I get older... I wonder why it is so hard to trust.

troutbirder said...

Neat. I do like these massive showings. My favorite was an abandoned stream edge pasture that look like a small lake..... Virginia Bluebells. :)

Out on the prairie said...

Very enjoyable to see thehillsides covered.I had funlooking at your recent finds.

My stories are from people I have met and interviewed. I expand on some to work with the idea they offer.This last story was a fellow who worked with me.I rotate the characters to show the people and addd the pics to personify out on the prairie and my explorations in nature.

Nature ID (Katie) said...

I've added a postscript to a blog with better pictures from last year.

twg, they kinda do look like buttercups up close. From a distance though, they're easy to identify.

James, what happened to the "m" in your comment signature?

Thanks, Allison. I really liked your door post; it made me think about things.

Mr. T, I'll have to look on your blog to see if you've posted about the Virginia bluebells. I love blue.

Steve, thanks for the explanation.

Nature-Drunk said...

Katie, about a week ago, I posted a photo of wildflowers (including goldfields) on my blog. Here in the valley, wildflower season is in full swing!...http://nature-drunk.com/?p=2881.