2016 Field Trip Report: Vail Lake [3/26/2016]
On Saturday 3/26/16, four hikers, led by Jonathan Frank and Rachel Whitt, explored the recreational Vail Lake area near Temecula in western Riverside County. While enjoying the perfect mid ‘60s/low ‘70s temperature and bright sunshine, we walked for nearly three hours through a mixture of coastal and desert shrublands punctuated by masses of annual wildflowers. Among the shrubby species seen on our trip, indicative of more interior habitats: basketbush (Rhus aromatica), chaparral honeysuckle (Lonicera interrupta), and red shanks (Adenostoma sparsifolium). Common wildflowers seen in masses included Gilia, Leptosiphon, and goldfields (Lasthenia). The highlight of the trip, though, was undoubtably the rare Nevin’s barberry (Berberis nevinii). Found in very few extant populations, mostly due to habitat loss and limited seedling establishment, we found a gnarled old individual near the road for the group to admire. Overall a lot to see all in one place.