On my recent trip up to the family lodge I figured I'd do a little search to see which fantastic florals get outta the ground first. Of the 100+ species of wildflowers that we've identified there, I found 16 early birds. I won't bore you with details about them though - I'll just let their beauty be the meat 'n potatoes of this post.
First, the natives...
Western Buttercup, Ranunculus occidentalis & Meadow Foam, Nemophila heterophylla
Whiteleaf Manzanita, Arctostaphylos viscida & Sierra Gooseberry, Ribes roezlii
Baby Blue Eyes, Nemophila menziesi & Redmaids, Calandrinia ciliata
Pine Violet, Viola pinetorum & Fivespot, Nemophila maculata
Goldfields, Lasthenia californica & some kinda Figwort
Shooting Stars, Dodecatheon hendersonii & Miniature Miner's Lettuce, Claytonia parviflora
And the wild non-natives...
These four are fairly common in areas that have seen some agriculture.
Red-stemmed Filaree, Erodium cicutarium & Common Chickweed, Stellaria media
Speedwell, Veronica sp. & Henbit, Lamium amplexicaule
And the reward for being go-getters? Snow on the first day of Spring!
Ah, Springtime in the Sierra.
- March 20th/21st really isn't the first day of Spring. It's actually the Vernal Equinox - the day that the Sun spends an equal amount of time just above and below the Equator, thus making day and night roughly the same length. "Equinox" is rooted in "equal" and "nox," which is Latin for "night." It's just become western tradition to call it the first day of Spring. In many cultures, the Vernal Equinox is considered to be mid-spring.
- At 3,000 feet in the western Sierra, the warmth required to trigger Spring blooms & buds usually lags the coastal and valley regions of California by 3-4 weeks.