I saw a couple little yellow blooms the last time out, the first hints of the blast of color coming up this spring. So far the weather seems to be pretty good: ample rain but not overdoing it, time between storms for the landscape to recover.

Mariposa lily Mariposa lily, Henry Coe State Park, May 2007).

Last year we had too little rain; the year before that, too much — two years in a row of rather puny wildflower seasons tells me we’re long overdue for a really good one. Among the places I’ll be looking for them:

Henry W. Coe State Park.
This is the only place where I regularly see those gorgeous paint-brushed Mariposa lilies like the one at left. I know they must grow in other places, I just don’t see them.

Point Reyes National Seashore.
Last time I was up there I kept seeing these amazing purple irises — they grow in grassy areas and are very difficult to photograph, but are most impressive.

Joseph D. Grant County Park.
Perhaps the most diverse assortment of blooms appears here very spring. I’m told that on a really good year, the hillsides look like something from an Impressionist painting.

Poppies! California poppies high on a ridge in the backcountry section of Calero County Park, April 2007.

Calero County Park. Like Grant, Calero has a lot of open, sunny hillsides that bloom up nice. You have to get up in the hills away from the equestrian areas to see the best parts.

Pinnacles National Monument. The rocks get all the attention, but the blooms here are varied and vibrant.

Sunol Regional Wilderness.
Spring is a bit muddy in Sunol, but the colors more than compensate. Sunol is about as nice as it gets during wildflower season.

So, I think these hit the high spots … please weigh in with more suggestions.