Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wildflowers at Carrizo Plain National Monument

Chris and I have been looking forward to seeing some wildflowers this spring. Even though we live in a desert, there are many opportunities to see wildflowers this time of year. Within a short drive any any direction (except west, obviously) we can see so many different things!


The Carrizo Plain National Monument is about 3 hours north of our house in L
A. This area was established in 1988 to protect habitat for endangered species and to restore native ecosystems. It is the largest contiguous remnant of the San Joaquin Valley system.

As we were driving down the grapevine (a mountain pass on the 5 Interstate) we saw acres and acres of blue flowers!



From Carrizo Plain National Monument



Obviously my camera does not do the colors of the wildflowers justice! As we turned off the main interstate we started to see more yellows and golds


From Carrizo Plain National Monument




We turned down a dirt road called "7 Mile Road". It wasn't long before we saw this jackrabbit with the biggest ears I've EVER SEEN--at least 5 inches tall (not a great picture, but I had to include it)

From Carrizo Plain National Monument




We got out and let Riley sniff around. Here is my new favorite picture of him


From Carrizo Plain National Monument



Here he is looking like the Joker again:

From Carrizo Plain National Monument




From Carrizo Plain National Monument




From Carrizo Plain National Monument




From Carrizo Plain National Monument




From Carrizo Plain National Monument




This is the Temblor Mountain Range. We drove over these mountains to get into the Carrizo Plain and at the base of them lies the San Andreas Fault Line! Look at the wildflowers covering the mountains.

From Carrizo Plain National Monument




This is Soda Lake. It is a (mostly) dry lake throughout the year with a surface crust containing about 82% anhydrous (lacking water) sodium sulfate, 9% sodium chloride (table salt) and 9% miscellaneous salts.

From Carrizo Plain National Monument




From Carrizo Plain National Monument




Before the Carrizo Plain became federally protected area, there was to be a working ranch on the plain and some of the machinery is still sitting here

From Carrizo Plain National Monument



These ponds are directly on top of the San Andreas Fault



From Carrizo Plain National Monument




We drove back home through the Los Padres National Forest where there was still snow on the ground!

From Carrizo Plain National Monument



From Carrizo Plain National Monument




Riley snoozed the whole way home

From Carrizo Plain National Monument


If you'd like to see all our pictures from Carrizo Plain National Monument click here.

2 comments:

Jud and Bevin Nave said...

love the pic of Riley in the flowers...that's a keeper

Katy Southern said...

awesome! I love your pictures- I feel like I was there- jealous, very jealous :)