More Flowers at Stebbins Cold Canyon

This is a continuation of the last post.

Hiking along the ridge at Stebbins Cold Canyon

This is near the top of the ridge.

Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve

There was such a beautiful sky and the chamise and deerweed in bloom add so much color to the landscape.

A view of the Central Valley from Stebbins Cold Canyon

This is a view looking over the Sacramento Valley. Notice the contrast of the grass-covered hills and where we were walking in the chaparral. Fire and rain are the determinants of this landscape this year. Had there not been a fire a few years ago the brush would be head-high and impenetrable. The continuous rain this spring brought out the best in the wildflowers and shrubs.

Sacramento seen from Stebbins Cold Canyon

I could barely make out the tall buildings of downtown Sacramento 40 miles away, but could see them better zooming in my camera. That’s Davis in the middle ground where you see the water towers. Winters is the closest town.

Lake Berryessa

That last shot was the view to the east. This is looking north to the lower end of Lake Berryessa.

Turkey vulture at Stebbins Cold Canyon

As we hiked a little further up the trail Dan spotted two turkey vultures. This one looked as though it had a problem with its wings, but it was just preening, moving its wings as it went.

Turkey vulture at Stebbins Cold Canyon.

Eventually it spread it’s wings to warm up. I read that turkey vultures lower their body temperature at night becoming slightly hypothermic, and spreading the wings helps them to warm up and “bake off bacteria”.

Turkey vulture at Stebbins Cold Canyon.

As we continued on the trail, the vultures moved with us, changing rocks. (I think that was purely coincidence—it’s not like they were thinking we wouldn’t make it back.)


Paintbrush. Not sure which one.

Mariposa Lily

Splendid Mariposa lily, Calochortus splendens.

Ridge line trail at Stebbins Cold Canyon

Continuing along the ridge line.

Turkey buzzard at Stebbins Cold Canyon

Maybe they were keeping an eye on us after all.

Fungus at STebbins Cold Canyon

Seen on the trail. It seemed like everywhere we looked there was some life form. I am not including a lot of the photos I took—other plants, more bugs, lizards.

Wildlfowers Stebbins Cold Canyon

I don’t know the name of this plant that has already flowered and gone to seed.

Monkey flower at STebbins Cold canyon

Bush monkeyflower, Mimulus aurantiacus, and more Chamise.

Twining snake lily at stebbins cold canyon

More Twining Snake Lily.

Chaparral pea at Stebbins Cold Canyon

We started to see some shrubs with pink flowers that I had never noticed before. These are Chaparral Pea, Pickeringia montana. Also in this photo are Chamise, Deerweed, and Yerba Santa.

Chaparral pea

There wasn’t a lot of this Chaparral Pea, but it was quite striking. I had never noticed it before but I guess I haven’t been there when it is in bloom.

Wildflowers at stebbins cold canyon

Do you see an insect in half of these flowers?

Wildflowers at Stebbins Cold Canyon
Wildflower at Stebbins Cold Canyon

I assume another Calochortus but I haven’t ID’d this one for sure. Notice the bee gathering pollen.


Another view of the hillside covered with blooming shrubs.

Ithuriel’s spear

Ithuriel’s Spear, Triteleia laxa.

Golden Fairy Lantern at Stebbins Cold Canyon

Golden Fairy Lantern, Calochortus amabilis.

Penstomen at Stebbins Cold Canyon

Foothill penstemon, Pentstemon heterophyllis. I think I had another photo in yesterday’s post but it’s worth two!

Green butterfly

Green butterfly. I haven’t ID’d this one. This was still up on the ridge.

Spice bush

We started down the trail toward the canyon where it is more wooded. Spice bush, Calycanthis occidentalis, lives in moist habitats.

Caterpillar at Stebbins Cold Canyon

Colorful caterpillar. The detail in color and shape (hair/spines?) is amazing.

Chrysalis on tree

Colorful chrysallis.

Buckeye at Stebbins Cold Canyon

CA Buckeye, Aesculus californica

Wildflowers at Stebbins Cold Canyon

I think this is Red Ribbons, Clarkia concinna, but don’t have a close-up. This was seen near the end of the trail. Dan commented that this is the kind of wall that people pay landscapers to recreate in their yards. It could never be the same thing.

What a tremendous day full of color and life! Now I want to go back in another week or so and see the changes.