Spring Meadows on the Stanislaus River

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The Stanislaus River carves through the Sierra Nevada foothills near Knight’s Ferry, California, passing endless fields of poppies and lupine.

The Stanislaus River begins its journey high up in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. By the time it reaches the scene of this photograph, which is near Knight’s Ferry, it has already finished most of its descent. Higher up, it is a mecca for whitewater rafters. Now it meanders more gently through what remains of the Sierra foothills, and then eventually joins up with the San Joaquin River. You can still see many rafters and kayakers drifting past, but clearly relaxing after having finished the hard work. In spring, the banks of this river burst to life. The wildflower bloom in these spring meadows is nothing short of stunning. I wandered these hills for hours, and there was no end in sight to the expanse of flowers. This photograph is dominated mainly by golden California poppies, with a dash of lupine thrown in.

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