Lori Carey Photography

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wildflower Bonanza in a surprise location

Yeah, I know I said I wasn't really into photographing flowers, but it seems to be the thing to do this year since we've been having a spectacular bloom, and I was driving to the grocery store the other day when a splash of color caught my attention and I just had to go investigate.

And I am so glad I did.

California Poppies and Bermuda Buttercups on a hillside in San Juan Capistrano, California

On this mostly hidden hillside in some open space right in town I found the best assortment of wildflowers I've seen to date.

In addition to the ubiquitous black mustard, there were hundreds (thousands?) of poppies, the most beautiful yellow Bermuda Buttercups (aka African Woodsorrel or Bermuda Sorrel), Wild Radish, Popcorn Flower, Lupine, Goldfields, wild pea, California Filaree (aka Redstem Stork's Bill) and California Brittlebush (aka Bush Sunflower).

I'm still working on processing all of the images I got (and the stuff from last weekend!), but here's a few:

Goldfields on a hillside in San Juan Capistrano, California

California Filaree:
California Filaree on a hillside covered with wildflowers in San Juan Capistrano, California

Popcorn Flower:
Popcorn Flower blooming in San Juan Capistrano, California

Wild Pea - not sure of the exact species?
Wild Pea blooming on hillside in San Juan Capistrano, California

It was a great opportunity to practice my "focus and sway" with my new macro lens; much different than using it in a controlled "studio" environment, to say the least.

I realized that I could definitely use a good field guide because trying to identify exact species via the internet [is that an oldschool term these days? ;)] is not always easy, especially given that the info out there is not always correct.

If you're in Orange County, California and want to check out the location for yourself, it is in the hilly open area that is bordered by San Juan Creek Road, Valle Road and La Novia. Parking and access is easiest on La Novia; you can follow the old paved road down to the San Juan Creek side - you won't be able to miss the colors!

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