The last few days have been beautifully warm and sunny, but tonight the rain returns, so I decided to take a leisurely stroll down to one of the creeks on the property to see what’s blooming this spring before the weather changes, again.
As we had almost 14 inches of rainfall in March the creeks still have significant water flows.
The creek banks are mostly shaded, and receiving only dappled sunlight during the day, so the collection of native plants found in that area prefer to grow in at least some shade.
As I approached the creek, the most notable plants were the Redwood Sorrel, now in full bloom, these plants blanket the entire forest floor in some areas.
Mixed in with the Redwood sorrel I could still find a few Trillium (Trillium ovatum) in bloom.
The Stream Violets (Viola glabella) seem to be blooming a few weeks earlier than last year.
A few Toothworts (Cardamine californica) were scattered in some of the sunnier areas near the water’s edge.
I even managed to find a few native Forget-Me-Nots (Cynoglossum grande) in bloom in this area. I hadn’t noticed any this close to the creek last year.
Near a fallen oak I found the first Western Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosum) in bloom,
although I almost find the leaves more beautiful than the flowers.
Soils that are still retaining lots of water from the recent rains were readily identifiable by the miniature forests of Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata) intersecting through swaths of Sorrel.
At creek level, the saturated soils were host to some beautiful Liverworts clinging to the vertical banks that I’d never noticed before,
and at the creek margin, the horsetails (Equisetum telmateia var. braunii) were pushing their brushy plumes through the soil.
I looked to see if I could find any salamander species, but came up empty handed, perhaps because the creek waters are still quite high, and fast moving where I’d seen the aquatic phase of our Coast Range Newts last year.
However, there were quite a few Water Striders skitting around in some of the deeper, slow moving pools along the water’s edge.
Higher on the creek banks away from the water’s edge the native Hazel (Corylus cornuta) is beginning to leaf out
and the Western Sword Ferns (Polystichum munitum) are bedecked with their beautiful new vivid green fronds.
Although all of these native plants are growing on our property by the creek, this is Nature’s garden, and we don’t do anything to the plantings in this area except remove invasives as we find them.
It was a truly beautiful and relaxing way to spend a few moments in the midst of a hectic spring day. I really should take the time to walk this area more often.
how gorgeous is that creek and all the beautiful wildflowers…I so miss the creek we used to play in when I was growing up in Indiana..of course we pronounced it “crik”
Wow so much wonderful spring growth is taking place in your area. I love the native wildflowers. The water striders bring back fond memories of my childhood and swimming in the nearby creeks.
What a beautiful walk. How lucky you are to have this space. Is it wrong that I looked at your photo of miner’s lettuce and thought.. yum!!
Dear Clare – if I lived here I’d be down by the creek all the time with no time to feed chickens, chase Bobcats and catch wild bees. Wonderful to walk with you here amongst the captivating wildflowers and the running water. Breathtaking images that match your words.
Reading your lovely post is like taking a walk along a nature trail with a guide.
I am so jealous. We have a creek on our property and the only plants there are the invasives that wash down the creek invading as they go. There is really no in tact native plant communities left where I live. It has all been taken over by invasive exotics.
I agree with everyone above. Great finds and the stream image is really pretty. The Miner’s Lettuce is a pretty plant that might go unnoticed without your great photo of it. I am not familiar with it so I found it interesting.
Love the walk with you, finding lovely little blooms along the banks, such tranquillity just the sound of rushing water of the creek.Yay lets do it again sometimes!
Clare, I have learned so much from you! I love all the native plants that pop up in early spring, but almist all yours are different from mine! So many tiny beauties. It makes the walk well worth it.
I did not know that we had a native horsetail. I have seen it along Lewis Creek Trail nearby, but thought it was an invasive. Live and learn hahaha
Lovely springtime images. Trilliums do make my heart go pitter-patter. The most magical blooms…
Despite the power of water when flooding occurs, we do need it so very much. Today I await the rain that is forecast, knowing the garden will get a good drink, and I won’t need to think about getting out the hose.
Your landscape is so inviting. Once in awhile I actually get in my car and drive to a nearby town in order to walk along to see the rushing streams!
Lovely, lovely, lovely, spring, Clare … it’s the best!
Looks like a very pretty walk. So many pretty spring flowers blooming. I love the native forget-me-nots!
We are having a break in the rain this afternoon and tomorrow and then it’s back again. Hoping we all dry out soon.
What a delightful walk – it was so nice to tag along via this post!
How fortunate that you have creeks on your property, something I miss on ours. I also admire your knowledge of native plants and wildflowers. Spring is the best time of the year; so much to appreciate, and gone too soon!
What lovely wild flowers. I cannot imagine 14 inches or rain in one month. We don’t get that much in a year here in Northern Colorado.