Thursday, May 9, 2019

SANTA ROSA PLATEAU ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: 3/24/19 Vernal Pool Trail, Main Vernal Pool (Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA)

All that rain during the 2018-19 winter season (mostly from February through March) resulted in a "superbloom" in parts of California, most notably in the Antelope Valley, Wilson Canyon in Lake Elsinore, and the Carrizo Plain. Our beloved Santa Rosa Plateau, however, had a relatively modest bloom fest when we hiked the Vernal Pool trail and Trans Preserve trail on March 24th. Yes, the grasses were green, the main vernal pool was full though not brimming, and there were nice patches of wildflowers throughout. But the landscape was not covered in riotous color as we've seen before in other wet years. The Chocolate lilies on the Trans Preserve Trail were blooming, not in great abundance, with those right next to the trail unfortunately trampled upon by selfie-hogs. Nonetheless, a beautiful spring day on the reserve.


Gil on the Vernal Pool Trail


Ground Pink (Linanthus dianthiflorus), Vernal Pool Trail 


Red Maids (Calandrinia ciliata), Vernal Pool Trail 


 Padre's Shooting Star (Primula clevelandii), Vernal Pool Trail


Vernal Pool Trail 


Main vernal pool on the Mesa de Colorado 


Vernal Pool Trail


Vernal Pool Trail


 Red Maids (Calandrinia ciliata), Vernal Pool Trail.


Red Maids (Calandrinia ciliata), Vernal Pool Trail.


Lots of people on the boardwalk over the main vernal pool, listening to the ranger giving a talk about all the critters in the vernal pool right now (fairy shrimp, tadpoles, water beetles, dragonfly nymphs, etc.). No garter snakes yet, but they should appear within the next couple weeks. 


Boardwalk over the main vernal pool. If it collapsed from the weight of all those people, at least the water is only a couple feet deep!


Main vernal pool 


Boardwalk at the main vernal pool 


Main vernal pool 




Main vernal pool

Tons of tadpoles along the edges of the main vernal pool.




Curly Dock (Rumex crispus), a non-native, main vernal pool.


Trans Preserve Trail


Lots of Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobium) along the Trans Preserve Trail. The shiny 3-lobed leaves are indicative. 


Chaparral Currant (Ribes indecorum), Trans Preserve Trail.


Trans Preserve Trail


Western Buttercups (Ranunculus occidentalis), Trans Preserve Trail.


Western Buttercups (Ranunculus occidentalis), Trans Preserve Trail.

Trans Preserve Trail


Miner's Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata ssp. mexicana), Trans Preserve Trail.


Johnny Jump-Ups (Viola pedunculata), Trans Preserve Trail.


Western Buttercups (Ranunculus occidentalis) blooming off the Trans Preserve Trail.


Gil, waving his granola bar willy nilly around on the Trans Preserve Trail.


Common Bedstraw (Galium aparine), Trans Preserve Trail.


Poison Sanicle (Sanicula bipinnata), Trans Preserve Trail.


Soap Plant (Chlorogalum pomeridianum var. pomeridianum), Trans Preserve Trail.


Common Chickweed (Stellaria media), naturalized, Trans Preserve Trail.


Unidentified

California Aster (Corethrogyne filaginifolia var. filaginifolia), Trans Preserve Trail.



Chocolate Lily (Fritillaria biflora), Trans Preserve Trail.


Chocolate Lilies (Fritillaria biflora), Trans Preserve Trail.

Chocolate Lilies (Fritillaria biflora), Trans Preserve Trail.


Chocolate Lilies (Fritillaria biflora), Trans Preserve Trail.

Knotted Hedge Parsley (Torilis nodosa), Trans Preserve Trail.


Hollyleaf Redberry (Rhamnus ilicifolia), Trans Preserve Trail.


Hollyleaf Redberry (Rhamnus ilicifolia), Trans Preserve Trail.

Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum), Trans Preserve Trail.


Branching Phacelia (Phacelia ramosissima), Trans Preserve Trail.

Red Maids (Calandrinia ciliata), Vernal Pool Trail, heading back to the parking area off Via Volcano.


Yellow Carpet (Blennosperma nanum var. nanum), Vernal Pool Trail.


Padre's Shooting Star (Primula clevelandii ssp. clevelandii), Vernal Pool Trail.


Red Maids (Calandrinia ciliata), Vernal Pool Trail.


Johnny Jump-Ups (Viola pedunculata), Vernal Pool Trail.


Ground Pinks (Linanthus dianthiflorus), Vernal Pool Trailhead off Via Volcano.

Ground Pinks (Linanthus dianthiflorus), Vernal Pool Trail.


Checkerbloom leaves (Sidalcea malviflora ssp. sparsifolia), Vernal Pool Trail.


California Aster (Corethrogyne filaginifolia var. filaginifolia), Vernal Pool Trail.


Yellow Carpet (Blennosperma nanum var. nanum), Via Volcano across from trailhead/parking area.

Yellow Carpet (Blennosperma nanum var. nanum), Via Volcano across from trailhead/parking area.