By Karen Coffey
What an amazing spring we have had! It has been so green for so long that I tend to forget that this green will not last once the rains subside.
The Land Trust board has been meeting outside the office, at different venues for our informational meetings. These meetings are not typical business meetings and they have really helped us get to know each other better and become a more cohesive board. We have been discussing ways that we can better interact with both the donors/volunteers and the staff. This has been a very important progression and we hope to keep having these more “informal” meetings on an ongoing basis.
Getting back to this beautiful spring. I wanted to share with you an on excursion that I went on to the Sacramento River Bend, an “Outstanding Natural Area,” that is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. This area, five miles north of Red Bluff, protects now-rare oak woodlands and 25 miles of some of California’s last intact riparian habitat. The open space of 17,000 acres captures the essence of what land was like years and years ago in California with the expansive savannah and views that the Yana and Nomlaki Native Americans would have seen.
The main trail is called the “Yana Trail” and is intertwined with numerous other trails, including wetlands. My friend Theresa and I were in “wildflower heaven” as we explored both the Yana Trail and the immense savannah and boggy fields.
We identified a plethora of flowers, weeds, and grasses. Along with the yellow fiddlenecks, purple brodeia, butter and eggs, wild horehound (to name a few) we were overwhelmed with glee when we discovered a yellow mariposa. Neither one of us had ever seen one out in the field and as we keyed it out with our field guides we were in awe at it’s beauty. This special flower resembles a tulip and is a mix of small stripes and spots in contrasting brownish maroon.
If you would like to visit the Sacramento River Bend you can get a map from the BLM office and the directions are on line at www.blm.gov/ca/redding. It is located off the Jellys Ferry exit on I-5 (take this road to River Bend). You can also ask the store owner on the corner of River Bend & Jellys Ferry for a map. Enjoy!