By Jack Cronin, Reserve Intern
This year, the vernal pools have gotten more rain than any year since 2011. The rain is welcome and greatly appreciated. The vernal pools have filled! Fairy shrimp can be seen swimming along the edge of the pools. The flowering plant species of the vernal pools, which are well known for their exquisite displays, are beginning to bloom. Meadowfoam, Bluedicks, and ‘Butter and Eggs’ are among the first plant species in bloom. The birds on the reserve are also a great sight. Waterfowl are inhabiting the reserve, while the climate permits. Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, and Bufflehead, among others, have all been recently spotted.
Spring of 2016 is likely to be spectacular, and as always, the natural landscape and rangeland will assuredly be beautiful. The Vernal Pools & Grassland Reserve will be hosting nature walks throughout the semester, so be on the lookout!