Spring returns with familiar and unexpected wildflowers in the successions of plant communities that bloom each year under the blue oak woodlands. These hikes explore rolling ravines, open grasslands, stream courses and the oak woodland---experienced DCH docents will lead guests off the beaten path to where the flowers bloom.
Some discoveries may include the minute female oak flower hidden below the male catkins; stately Bentham lupines towering among tombstone rocks; the state lawn flower, purple needlegrass; white meadowfoam in the stream bed; or, gold nugget mariposa lilies on the mine tailing rubble. Hear stories about the origin of plant names, mistletoe myths and how Native American's used the land's bounty for medicine, food and building material. Learn the secrets of a blue oak woodland habitat---the plants, insects, birds and reptiles that are its unique web of life.
Hikes are ~ 4 hours walking slowly up to 2-3 miles. Wear sturdy walking shoes that can get wet; a hat and long-sleeved shirt for sun protection; and, loose fitting pants so you can crouch down at the plant's eye level. A walking stick is helpful for balance on uneven ground. Bring a loupe or magnifying glass, if you have one, to get a closer look at flower anatomy and plant identification characteristics. Water and snacks are always a good idea.
Attendees must pre-register online. Space is limited.