Table Mountain (April 2014)

With the drought in California this past winter, it seemed that spring might come and go with hardly enough moisture for the usual spring wildflower displays. Then a few good storms came in March—not enough to pull us out of the drought, but enough to allow some wildflowers to bloom well, at least in some areas. One place that looks great this spring is Table Mountain, a plateau of Miocene basalt just north of Oroville, California.

Oaks and lupines at Table MountainI visited Table Mountain last year, also in early April. This year, by comparison, there was still more water in the creeks and vernal pools, and most plants weren’t as far along in their blooming period.

Poppies on Table Mountain

Frying pans, Eschscholzia lobbii, is a close relative of California poppy (E. californica).

Lasthenia on Table Mountain

California goldfields, Lasthenia californica, and sky lupine, Lupinus nanus.

Lasthenia on Table Mountain

More goldfields.


Bird’s eye gilia, Gilia tricolor.

Mimulus on Table Mountain

Kellogg’s monkey-flower, Mimulus kelloggii.

Lewisia on Table Mountain

Bitter root, Lewisia rediviva, in a bed of spikemoss, Selaginella hansenii.

Lupines on Table Mountain

Water drains mostly to the west, toward the Sacramento Valley. As you approach the west side of Table Mountain, ravines become deeper and a few trees appear.

Poppies on Table Mountain


Phantom Falls

Sheer cliffs surround much of Table Mountain, and seasonal creeks like this one plunge off the edge. This is Phantom Falls, a favorite destination for hikers.


Tim Messick Photography • Graphics
Copyright © 2014 Tim Messick. All rights reserved.



About Tim Messick

Photographer, cartographer, and botanist/naturalist. Home is in Davis, California. Home-away-from-home is the eastern Sierra Nevada. Compiling a flora of the Bodie Hills.
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4 Responses to Table Mountain (April 2014)

  1. Alan says:

    Beautiful! Nice work, Tim!

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