Saturday, January 30, 2010

Photography Class at the Santa Rosa Plateau...and the Reserve is still closed

This afternoon, went to the 3rd session of a series of photography classes being at the SRP Reserve's visitor center. The classes are offered through the Santa Rosa Plateau Foundation and taught by wildlife photographer Dick Cronberg. Dick's not only an excellent photographer, but also a great instructor with a knack for demystifying the esoterica of photography for the uninitiated, making crystal clear all that maddening stuff in our camera manuals that none of us ever really remembers or wants to understand.

His website is  

Per the SRP Foundation's website: 
the Level 2 class is still open for registration, but I hope that the vernal pools will actually be accessible to foot traffic by the time of the upcoming March 6th field trip.

When I got to the visitor center this afternoon, it appeared that the entire reserve was still closed due to the extensive flooding and damage to most if not all of the trails and bridges from our recent rains. Word is that the boardwalk over the main vernal pool is still submerged. Now, all this should dry out by March, but the problem is that there's more rain in the forecast for next weekend and who knows how much more to come.

In a 1/29/10 article posted on the Southwest Riverside News Network, the SRP Reserve Manager, Carole Bell, noted that the reserve received 9.5 inches of rain from the recent storms:

Santa Rosa Plateau expected to partially reopen after damage from storms

A bridge on the Punta Mesa trail within the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve that was washed out during recent storms. (Courtesy photo),
Even here in La Cresta, we have our very own version of a vernal pool forming off Valle Vista, visible from the main drag of Avenida La Cresta:

1/30/10 "Vernal Pool" off Valle Vista in La Cresta

But the rain has also sprung some forth some delectable surprises in my garden. Last spring, I decided to roll the dice and purchased, through mail order, one Dodecatheon clevelandii (Padre's Shooting Star) from Annie's Annuals and one Dodecatheon jeffreyi (Jeffrey's Shooting Star) from Beaver Creek Nursery in Coleville, WA. WOW...imagine that. ONE EACH of the kind of wildflower that typically grows in masses of perhaps hundreds upon hundreds. Well, darn it, they're expensive and tricky to establish, so I wasn't about to break the bank on this experiment. I had planted the Padre's in the ground in decomposed granite next to some Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), and the Jeffrey's in an old wine barrel planter with other wetland species, including Giant Stream Orchid (Epipatcus gigantea) and Seep Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus). Both of the Shooting Stars died down before summer, and I just assumed that they were goners. But then lo and behold and I'll be a monkey's uncle...I saw some herbage today emerging from whence the original plants had met their presumed demise. Call me nuts, but at that moment I felt this overwhelming need to break out a bottle of some really, really good bubbly or at least do some kind of crazy jiggy rain dance. Frankly though, it's all kind of a blur now, so maybe I did both...

1/30/10 Padre's Shooting Star (Dodecatheon clevelandii)

1/30/10 Jeffrey's Shooting Star (Dodecatheon jeffrey)

1/30/10 Seep Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus), reseeded from last year's plants

No comments:

Post a Comment