A couple of weeks ago D. and I went to the Baylands Nature Preserve in Palo Alto, and I took some pics.
Walking past the preserve's interpretive center, almost immediately we see a ring-necked pheasant across the slough, among the abundant blossoming wild mustard.
Pheasants are not native to North America but were introduced here from Asia as a game bird, and have established populations over much of the continent.
The San Francisquito Creek Trail goes off into the marshes, quickly swallowed up by the rampant wild mustard.
A starling prances around the rear of the interpretive center with a cheezy poof it scavenged from somewhere.
A pair of mallards swims around a bank of the slough filled with blossoming mustard.
The wild mustard is in full bloom, creating brilliant blazes of yellow throughout the preserve.
Down low among the rioting mustard is the delicate scarlet pimpernel.
Yes, it is a real flower and not just a character from British literature.
The oddly-stained blue leg of this bench on the Marsh Front Trail reminds me of a peacock feather.
Dowitchers are one of the most common shorebirds on San Francisco Bay.
They gather as the tide goes out to probe for small invertebrates.
The sensitive tip of their upper bill is movable, to be able to open and grasp food when plunged into the mud.
At the parking lot, there is a veritable 'splosion of daisies, rivaling the mustard's brilliance.
On our way home, we pass by one more bright swath of color; this time it's brilliant magenta iceplant.