Historic Murphys and a Botanical Garden

Happy New Year!

To start off, let’s head up into the foothills to the small town of Murphys, the Queen of the Sierra. It is located right off Highway 4, east of Stockton.

We started at Ironstone Vineyards, a large winery, tasting room, cafe, museum, amphitheater and garden complex that hosts many events throughout the year

In May they had a good amount of flowers, but earlier in the spring is full of flowering bulbs

Here is where the hold concerts and other events, I’ve been here for fourth of July fireworks before

Many of the garden paths wind under shady and well-maintained trees, particularly Japanese maples

They even have a giant pipe organ saved from a historic theater in Sacramento (the Alhambra)

The museum housed this irreplaceable crystalline gold nugget that is worth hundreds of thousands in the metal alone. These remnants of the gold rush indicate the wealth of gold that was found, and still lies buried, under these foothills

The back of the winery looked quite old, many buildings here are over 150 years old

Such as the historic Murphys Hotel, built in 1856

The town had an old jail they preserved, it was tiny

And contained this miscreatin’ character

The main park in town crosses the refreshing Angels creek that is partially dammed to allow safe swimming

A very appropriate flower, a hollyhock, which was quite popular in the mid-1800’s

We then headed downhill to a river, and found this surprised cow on the road. Looks like she wants to challenge us for passage

This was a pretty cool place, part of the water and power infrastructure for the state

I guess it takes water from higher up on the river and produces power here and releases it into a canal that empties into the river

I thought the canal was the prettiest part

But the stair-sided walkway was a close second

The river wasn’t very interesting photography-wise, so here are some wonderful flowers from the same time of year at the UC Davis Botanical Garden

That shot was pretty special, but this other type of poppy was a fantastic shot as well

I wish I knew what these interesting flowers were


A rare, red magnolia flower

These are flowers from a native milkweed

They did not jingle


These oleander are going to become rare, a bacteria is killing them off by the thousands in southern california

They have some truly majestic oak trees here as well, from all over the world

This native valley oak is quite large, likely hundreds of years old

A cactus was blooming, usually this just happens at night



Some australian plant drooping over

At the pond we saw this kingfisher

Which promptly plucked a nice minnow out right in front of us. I couldn’t get a good shot of that part though, so you will have to enjoy the anticipation without a reward

See you next time with a stupefying array of flower from the Loney Meadow and Rock Lakes area

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