This past spring I visited Arcata California for a little bird photography. Whenever I am out photographing birds, I always take a second camera with a macro lens attached for photographing wildflowers and plants. Some days I get more pictures of birds while other days are predominantly flowers. Because of the cloudy Pacific Northwest climate, there are many interesting plants and beautiful flowers to be seen in the area. Also because of the climate there are many fewer people that both live here and visit, compared to the areas south, making it a good place to see wildflowers and birds. Again because of the climate, there are a fair number of unusual local plants and wildflowers that can be seen nowhere else. There are also a large number of non-native plants that while beautiful, affect the delicate balance of nature in this area. These “immigrant plants” should be a reminder that introducing non-native elements into an ecosystem can have unintended consequences. In any case, I came away with some photos of beautiful blossoms which I thought I would share.
Even though it is summer for most of the nation, high in the Sierra Nevada mountains it is still cool and for all intents and purposes late spring, with temperatures in the 70s. Wildflowers are abundant and small streams and waterfalls are everywhere as runoff from the snowpack continues. Depending on the elevation, spring in Sequoia National Park generally lasts from April to mid-June. Early spring begins to bring warmer temperatures, but the sequoia groves are often still filled with snow. Fortunately, when we visited in June, the snow was gone and the wildflowers were in bloom with no snow.