A Spring Wildflower Walk (in Winter) in the Merced River Canyon

Poppy in the Merced River Canyon today (photo by Beth Pratt)During my almost daily walks or runs in the Merced River Canyon near Yosemite, I enjoying witnessing the changing seasons and especially look forward to the annual wildflower bloom. Usually I have to wait until March, although sometimes if I am really lucky some blossoms appear by late February. Yet last week the fiery orange faces of the California poppy appeared on the landscape, and on my walk this afternoon I noticed a few other wildflower species, not to be outdone by the poppies, making an early appearance as well. I observed a solitary hummingbird resting on a burnt out tree and thought he might be pondering the same thing--the strangeness of this year without a winter.

Indian paintbrush blooming in February (photo by Beth Pratt)Where's winter? Hummingbird in tree (photo by Beth Pratt)Fiddleneck? (photo by Beth Pratt) 

Popcornflower(?) blooming in February (photo by Beth Pratt)