April 21st, 2016

National Wildlife Refuge Warm Springs

National Wildlife Refuge Warm Springs

On a blazing hot Sunday, D. and I went on a docent-led tour of the Warm Springs Unit of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge to see the wildflower blooms around some of the last intact vernal pool habitat in the East Bay. Here are some of the pics I took.

Due to recent rain, there is more water than usual in some of the pools for this time of year.

A mallard enjoys one of the pools.

Ranchers lease parts of the refuge's lands to graze their cattle.

Popcorn flower.

A look at the terrain.


Our group makes its way across the fields.

Brodiaea is a pretty purple flower.

Owl's clover.

Pool 11 has a trace of water in it.

Endangered Contra Costa goldfields bloom in abundance here and in very few other places on Earth.

Bull clover.

Pool 3 is all dried up.

The pallid-winged grasshopper is found in grasslands and scrublands.

This California buttercup has an unusual tolerance for open sunshine and salty soil.

Downingia, a bellflower relative.

On our way back, a juvenile golden eagle soars casually overhead looking for unwary ground squirrels.