Itty Bitty Vernal Pool Flowers
Saw these itty bitty flowers blooming by the vernal pools at the Jepson Prairie Preserve the other day. For scale, the round shape in the background is a quarter I had in my pocket. These unique habitats were once widespread in the central Valley but few remain today. Vernal pools form seasonally when rainwater is trapped above a layer of clay soil. The pools dry up during the summer. The plants and animals that live in these habitats are specially adapted to wet winters and dry summers but since the habitats are so scarce now some of the species are threatened or endangered.