Windows on the Past, a display of wild flowers at the Museum of San Ramon Valley, Danville.

Get informed about wildflowers and climate change

Entrance of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, Danville.

There is a rotating exhibit in Danville’s Museum of the San Ramon Valley on wildflowers and climate change, named Beauty and the Beast. This display of photographs will run until the end of March, 2020. A docent at the museum told me that the wildflower bloom occurs earlier each year and that this messes with the rest of the ecosystem.

Picture of the 100 year bloom at Joshua Tree National Park.

“Erratic weather cycles cause more severe and longer droughts, followed by more frequent wet years and flooding. Native plants and life that depend upon them, are being crowded out by invasive species that benefit from this greater rainfall. Our beautiful wildflowers are losing ground.” (Quote from one of the panels in the exhibit.)

Dried wildflowers at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, Danville.

In my experience most wildflowers are really small and to see a large image of them is quite a treat! In fact they also show you the process of the photographers, Rob Badger and Nita Winter.  The images span from the superbloom of the California deserts to the alpine ‘rock gardens’ of the Sierra Nevada. 

To get up close with some wildflowers you can use a microscope and zoom in on some dried species.

To combat climate change you are encouraged to become a citizen scientist.

Part of a Mastodon jaw at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, Danville.

For history buffs this museum, a former train station, feed store, and a home for an eccentric artist,  is also full of local artifacts. One of the most precious artifacts is a part of a Mastodon jaw. 

Bob, a mannequin, in the caboose playing cards.

The restroom outside in the caboose is also a lot of fun with a train driving soundtrack!

Admission to the museum is $5, it is open Tuesday to Friday 1 pm – 4 pm, Saturdays 10 am – 1 pm and Sundays 12 pm – 3 pm.

Did you know about the relationship of wildflowers and climate change?



Arizona Cactus Garden, Stanford

Unearth a different kind of superbloom

Cacti with flowers, Arizona Cactus Garden, Stanford

After ‘El Nino’ there is usually a superbloom. Southern California has more of these overgrown wildflower spots than we in the Bay Area. I was wondering if succulents and cacti also experience a superbloom right now. The answer is ‘Yes!’

The Arizona Cactus Garden in Stanford is my favorite hidden gem. Once there, you’ll be transported to a desert like area, with lizards showing you the way. There are huge plants with a phallic like bloom that easily spans 10 feet and cute little ground covers.

Blooming succulents at the Arizona Cactus Garden, Stanford.

A fuzzy cactus looks like a face with its little pink flowers. Succulents exude the most interesting flowers and colors.

You can find the Arizona Garden next to the Mausoleum on the Stanford campus.

Do you make the effort to see superblooms?