Nine months out of the year on 2nd Wednesdays, I volunteer to set up the hospitality snacks and beverages at our Sacramento Valley chapter of the California Native Plant Society. This month’s talk was about vernal pool ecology. In keeping with the theme of our talk, tonight I did a quick ink and watercolor sketch of downingia, one of many cool and rare native flowers you might find in a vernal pool.

Downingia are small plants, 3″-10″ tall, and at least in the Central Valley vernal pools, these downingia have their own specialized species of solitary bees that visit only this flower. The plant has evolved very specialized features that fit only certain bees. Co-evolution between plants and insects is so amazing.

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