California Wildflowers

– Posted in: Garden Photography, Garden Plants

Now being empty nesters, my wife Mary and I took off on Easter Sunday with our dog Sandy for a day trip to Bear Valley in Colusa County, California, about 2 hours north of San Francisco.

Sandy resting in Bear Valley

Sandy resting in Bear Valley

I sent a web gallery of photos to some friends and got such an overwhelming response I wanted to share with others.  I do not have a personal blog, so I am putting them here.  When I sent the photos onto Fran, she suggested that I do this post, especially since she had just completed a post, Wildflowers In Israel, and assured me that I didn’t need to add alot of content, that the photos speak for themselves.

Cream cups - Platystemon californicus

Cream cups - Platystemon californicus

Enjoy.  Belly photos from outside the fences.


Orthocarpus, Lupinus, and Platystemon in Bear Valley

Orthocarpus, Lupinus, and Platystemon in Bear Valley

I confess now, The Camera Always Lies.  It was not the best of years in Bear Valley with only one truly spectacular location to be found near the road without trespassing.  This is a very wide angle lens focused about 6 inches from the closest flowers.

Attached is a link to a gallery on my website.   I have not posted my web galleries to GGW before now and in doing so I am by-passing my usual copyright notice.  So I need to say here, before  you visit, all photos on this and my own website are protected by copyright and may not be downloaded for any reason.  web gallery

Saxon Holt
Saxon Holt is the owner of, a garden picture resource for photographs, on-line workshops, and garden photography stories. An award winning photojournalist and Fellow of The Garden Writers Association with more than 25 garden books, he lives and gardens in Northern California. PhotoBotanic - Garden Photography online at
Saxon Holt

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Lisa at Greenbow April 25, 2009, 6:21 am

Great photos. Your dog looks so handsome lying there in the wildflowers.

She was just happy to be out in the wide open spaces. I suppose happiness breeds handsomeness in dogs too… – Saxon

bangchik April 25, 2009, 7:38 am

How lovely they are, growing and blooming wild…. I am sure they feel caged when we put them into our garden…. cheers! Blog on ….. ~ Bangchik

. . . well they do look great on God’s garden …. Thanks for the comments – Saxon

gail April 25, 2009, 11:01 pm

This is the California of my imagination! Not the glitzy cities…but these nature scenes. Thoroughly enjoyable photos, thanks for sharing! gail

Every time I get out into the wilds of California, I am amazed at how big this State is and how much open land there really is. Glitzy cities are fine but most of CA is very pristine – Saxon

Town Mouse April 26, 2009, 12:02 am

That’s spectacular! Love the owl’s clover with the Lupine. Very clever to place the dog there, it gives everything perspective.

You can’t tell but Sandy is lying inside the fence. Most of the valley is private and fenced for cattle. I couldn’t bear to have her lie in the really huge field I found later. Saxon

eliz April 26, 2009, 12:03 am

Huh, I would have sworn those purple ones were liatris. I find these CA wildflowers so beautiful, and so many are unfamiliar.

Liatris are not native to California but lupins are everywhere. There are hundreds of native annuals, more and more are appearing in seed packets and will become more familiar. – Saxon

ryan April 26, 2009, 5:22 pm

I didn’t realize how much nicer California native wildflowers can look with a dog amongst them.

Many photos benefit from a focal point… Saxon

wiseacre April 27, 2009, 12:12 am

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