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Gold Nuggets Everywhere!

There are gold nuggets all over the hillsides of Sierra Outdoor School! Although not worth over $1,300/ounce like the precious metal, these gold nuggets (Calochortus monophyllus) are still a valuable addition to the forest. They are one of the first wildflowers to bloom each spring and they sprung up just last week. Here's a photo of them scattered among the bear clover just below Sonora dorm.
If you look closer there are beautiful maroon spots on each petal and at the base of each petal is where insects will find the nectar. These flowers are endemic to CA - that means they're only found in CA.
Below is a photo of the very first kind of wildflower to bloom this spring. 
It was in the same location as the gold nuggets, but about a week earlier. 
This is the mountain violet (Viola purpurea) and its seeds are spread by ants as they feed on them.
What is blooming in your area now? What are you looking forward to seeing bloom? 
I can't wait for the leopard lilies and shooting stars to bloom here.


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