These pictures were taken from the Vernal Pool Trail, ~200' north of the intersection with the loop trail that contains the boardwalk.
After the water fills the pool, the dark green spike rush and light green knotgrass begin to turn the pool green, even when the pool still contains water. The spike rush soon overtakes the knotgrass, and the pool turns the dark green of spike rush. The vernal pool popcorn flower adds its white color to the pool when it blooms, from 4/23 to 5/10, lightening the green color. The spike rush then turns brown. There is also a very incomplete ring of lighter brown on the outside of the pool, visible on days 111 and 145 at right-center, due to a different grass which grows there, probably hairgrass. The small pools show a much-more developed ring from this grass.
The pictures also show the general appearance of the grasslands surrounding the pools, but do not show the many pretty wildflower displays in the grasslands that are obscured by these low-angle shots. For example, see owl's clover on 4/26 that were in full bloom from 4/26 through 5/6, but totally invisible on such pictures even though they are fully in the pictures below! (The fields of owl's clover were just outside the pool on the closest side.) The taller grasses that obscure the owl's clover in low-angle shots are visible in the picture of the owl's clover.
Thus the most obvious feature of the grasslands is the color of the grasses and mustard. The early pictures show the dead gray/brown vegetation from the previous year. The middle pictures show green when the new growth obscures last year's dead stalks. The color turns to yellow/green when the mustard blooms. The later pictures show everything turning to brown again.
Palomar Mountain is sometimes visible on the horizon at the left edge of the pictures. Palomar Mountain is made of three bumps - the leftmost is Agua Tibia, the center is Morgan Hill, and the rightmost is Boucher Hill (Palomar State Park). The appearance (or non-appearance) of these mountains show the changes in visibility with time. The sky part of the pictures gives a good indication of what the weather was like as well.
Go to Pictures of the Vernal Pool vs. Time for 2001
Copyright © 2001 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 4 October 2001.