Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Tour vernal pools at Jepson Prairie Preserve

A fence is reflected in a puddle at the Jepson Prairie Preserve south of Dixon. Docent-led tours of the vernal pools will be given on Saturdays and Sundays beginning March 16 and continuing through Mother's Day, May 12. Doug Wirtz/Courtesy photo

Wildflower season is just around the corner, and Jepson Prairie docents with the Solano Land Trust are ready to share the first wave of vernal pool flowers with weekend tours beginning Saturday, March 16.  Weather permitting, there will be two-hour guided walks starting at 10 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday through Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12.

Admission is free, but donations are accepted with gratitude.

A vernal pool is a world of exceptional diversity and an ecological system of unimaginable complexity, and the Jepson Prairie Preserve is one of the best remaining examples of vernal pools in California. Guests will enjoy an easy, meandering walk under wide-open skies with knowledgeable docents while exploring the bunchgrass prairie and walking alongside the claypan vernal pools.

The prairie is transformed by winter rains into fields of stunning wildflowers, including white meadowfoam, yellow carpet and miniature lupine. Docents are also on hand to introduce visitors to the rare aquatic life that live in the ephemeral pools, including vernal pool fairy shrimp, conservancy fairy shrimp and the larvae of the California tiger salamander.

Visitors should bring drinking water and protection from sun and wind; it is often windy at Jepson Prairie. They also should be prepared for the chance of fog, rain and wet trails. There is one portable toilet onsite.

The Jepson Prairie Preserve is at the intersection of Highway 113 and Cook Lane, about 10 miles south of Dixon and eight miles north of Highway 12.  Parking is along the road near the eucalyptus trees.

Since its founding in 1986, Solano Land Trust has permanently protected more than 20,000 acres of working farms and natural areas in Solano County.  For more information and directions, visit www.solanlolandtrust.org.

Enterprise staff

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