The Vernal Pools at Phoenix Field in Fair Oaks are starting to come alive. Not quite in their full glory, they are getting there. Here they are in April 2011. You can still see the pooled water which is the key to the amazing proliferation of wildflowers to come as the water evaporates. Then scan down to see the pic I took in the same spot May last year.
Vernal pools are a vanishing rarity. They are little pockets of temporary wetlands created by rainwater trapped on the surface by hardpan which prevents percolation. So the rainwater sits until it dries up. In the process, plants germinate and aquatic critters flourish (they've been waiting quietly - bizarre, huh?). As the pools dry up, the spectacular show emerges with concentric rings of wildflowers in bursts of yellow, purple and white.
Now look at tthe Vernal Pools of Phoenix Field last year, May of 2010, as featured in my Fair Oaks Video. Aren't they shockingly beautiful?
Amazing, isn't it.
© Sally Dunbar, 2011