Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring in California!

Ahhh... Spring. It is so wonderful! It even smells good. (you'd be able to smell it in this post if Google's April fools prank wasn't really a prank!) I love coastal California, but I love it even more in the spring. There are large fields of beautiful wildflowers, the most 'California' of them all (at least to me) is the poppy. One thing I miss about living in Big Sur would be the poppy field overlooking Lopez Rock. Luckily, it isn't too hard to find poppies down here as well. This photo was taken this week along Jalama Road. 

California poppies (Eschscholzia californica)

One of my other favorite things about the spring in California (or anywhere in the country, for that matter) is that we get new baby hummingbirds. I was fortunate enough to have an Anna's hummingbird build her nest right in our magnolia tree in front of our house this year. Unfortunately, I was extremely busy with work throughout the month of March and missed a large part of the chick growth, including when they fledged. I did get to see mom feeding the babies a few times and got a few shots of mom and the babies on the nest. The first photo below is the mom before the chicks hatched (2/16/13) and the second photo is of the two chicks right before they fledged (3/20/13). The other two hummingbirds are of a male Anna's who was taking time to show off his color to me.

Female Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna) on her nest

Anna's hummingbird chicks (Calypte anna)

Male Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna)

Male Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna)

There are so many more amazing things about spring in California, but today the final image I have is the annual monarch migration. Monarch butterflies travel a far distance to winter in California and Mexico. I live about .75 miles from an eucalyptus grove that homes approximately 12,000 monarchs every winter. In the photo below the monarch is feeding on a flower that I believe is California fuchsia (Epilobium) but flowers are not my specialty, so I'm open to other opinions.
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

1 comment:

  1. Awesome pics! I see your allergies going crazy though in that poppy field! :)