Photographing Orange County’s Wildflowers
A couple of days ago I was given the chance to venture into some of the wilderness areas that surround Orange County. Vast acres kept behind locked gates accessible only to stewards of the pristine environment, power line maintenance crews, or on occasion a privileged tour.
The Irvine Ranch Conservancy along with the Orange County Parks department oversees this wilderness area. They do an extraordinary job of preserving and protecting, and restoring these areas of natural California. They are also eager to not only share with, but to educate the public in these great resources.
I have been on these tours before. Press junkets with photo opportunities to show off the opening of new canyons to public access, or to show how the land is recovering from a recent wildfire. I always marvel at the unspoiled elegance, the chance to see mule deer, bobcats or maybe, just maybe, a mountain lion. Not this time, we were looking for flowers.
Thanks to senior El Nino the hills are green again, and blue, and gold, and purple, and red, and you name it. It is wildflower season and the good people at O. C. Parks and the Irvine Ranch Conservancy want to show off the splendor.
I have never given flowers much thought. Going on a wildflower tour with people who know them intimately opened my eyes some. I now can identify Johnny Jump Ups, Windmill Pinks, Yerba Santa, Owls Clover, Yellow Pincushions, and the rare Catalina Island Mariposa Lily.
We all agreed that being outside looking at flowers was a much better way to spend a sunny warm spring day then staring at a computer screen….. Even if we did not see any mountain lions.
If you are in or around Orange County get off the freeways and spend some time in these areas of unspoiled beauty. Don’t forget your camera! Click on the links below for web sites with information and docent lead tours.