Daffodil Hill weekend

This weekend my wife and I drove up to Daffodil Hill in Eastern California. Daffodil Hill is six acres of daffodils (my favorite flower) and it’s only open for a few weeks in the springtime. It’s free — just drive right up, park, and walk around. It looks like this:

Daffodil Hill

And if you get really close to the ground, it looks like this:

Daffodil Hill

If you have a California weekend free between now and the end of April, you might enjoy it. We drove up on Saturday and stayed in nearby Sutter Creek, which is known for its “Gold Rush” history. We stayed at a bed and breakfast called Foxes Inn that was very nice. For food, I can recommend the Jambalaya at the Caffe Via d’Oro in Sutter Creek if you like spicy food. We even found time to squeeze in a trip to a nearby cave called Black Chasm, where we got to see some nice stalactites and other formations:

Black Chasm

Growing up in Kentucky I’ve gotten a chance to enjoy several caves, but it was my wife’s first time in a cave. All in all, not a bad way to spend the first weekend of Spring. :)

38 Responses to Daffodil Hill weekend (Leave a comment)

  1. That first pic is my favorite. The other two are nice as well (cool stalactites). There are so many beautiful places in California, and this is a good reminder to get out there and enjoy nature.

    Guess we’d all do well to take a break and spend some time with our significant others on Daffodil Hill… or the beach. :)

  2. It can not be said enough what a wonderful force of happiness you are in the Internet. The flowers are beautiful, the colors exquisite. With so much negativity so easily found in so many places on the web, it is consistently refreshing to see such an ongoing stream of good things on this blog.

    Google chose a good person to be their face!

    I also think the manly stalactites with the threat of bats and Sleestak
    was an important balance to the girly daffodils!
    dk

  3. rob

    Beautiful Daffs Matt – we are still waiting for spring here, we had snow in England yesterday putting on my ‘big’ coat to go to work, waaaah! :(

  4. I wish spring would get here sooner. We just had 12 inches of snow over the weekend. This is my first winter outside of California in a couple years and I miss the short winters.

    What DSLR are you using these days Matt?

  5. I was just about to complain about the small amount of snow we had last night in Toronto. The 12 inches of snow Colin got shut me up.

  6. I had a rough day at work today recovering from my sunburn I got at the beach yesterday in San Diego ;)

    apologies for my malicious rubbing it in

  7. Wonderful Matt :)

    In my native town Burgas (Bulgaria) we have spring flower exhibition – part of it is outside, part of it is inside and arranged in lovely figures.

    Last year I was impressed by the icon of virgin Marry made from carnations (hope this is the right word for this flower), it looked amazing.

    Wish you nice time and more often to go out of the town :)

  8. Hi Matt,

    So far I thought daffodils are only growing in Germany. Ok., in Western Europe. But now I understand that California has everything. ;-)

    In Germany we call them “Narzissen” or better known as “Easter bells” (“Osterglocken”).

    Those flowers are very beautiful. Thanks for this nice pictures that let us feel a few minutes of stress relaxation.

    Regards,
    Wulffy

  9. Harith

    Matt,

    Which spring you are talking about? Its only 36F here :)

    “Growing up in Kentucky I’ve gotten a chance to enjoy several caves,..”

    I wish you take some photos of those caves next time you visit your parents.

  10. vivek

    Hi,
    Now that the April Fools Day is just 1 week away what do you plan to do this time?

  11. Matt would one of the caves in Kentucky be the real colossal cave as featured in ADVENT :-)

  12. You should come to Bristol in the UK – Wookey Hole Caves is less than an hour away, right next to Cheddar Gorge caves which (as a startling coincidence) is about an hour away from Wales – who’s natianal flower is the Dafodil!

  13. We had about eight inches of snow here (in Ann Arbor) over the weekend. I’d forgotten what a flower looks like, not to mention green grass.

  14. Spring is comes to us now, we can see more and more flowers now.

  15. These pictures are gorgeous. I am enjoying the same kind of weather in Texas. Our trees have bloomed, and the bluebonnets are on the way. I’ll have to post a picture of those when they get here. Right now they’re just babies. :)

    Thanks for the smile this AM.

  16. What a breath of fresh air. Among all of our morning reads…we get to see these photos and what to look forward to within the upcoming months. Thanks for the change of pace!

  17. purposeinc, thanks. There’s better photographers than me even in my own group, but I have fun.

    Colin Colehour, I’m still using the Nikon D40x. Chilli, pretty neat coincidence. Yup, you need to post more, Kate. :)

  18. It’s daffodil time here in Northern Piedmont as well, though unfortunately we don’t have any interesting stalactite caves in the vicinity. After all the snow this winter, we’re all totally ready for Spring.

    Sort of off the topic, but thought you might be interested in checking out our new scrolling ticker that uses Google’s Blogger JSON feeds. A good way to give a site a Spring uplift, if you will!

  19. OnlyMe

    Oh Matty, Oh Matty,

    Please, please send the spring weather my way…east coast that is. We can’t even see the grass yet!!!

    But thank you for brightening up my day with these beautiful pictures!

    OnlyMe

  20. chuckallied

    Whoa. I did the same thing this weekend, although different place and different flowers.

    And instead of a cave I found a creek. But you know, close ‘nough.

  21. Matt, ping me whenever you’re in the Netherlands, I’ll have to invite you to the Keukenhof :)

  22. I’m in IL and still have 6 in of snow in the driveway. I refuse to shovel…that’s what 4 wheel drive is for. Anyway…Please quit taunting me with nice weather =P
    :)

  23. Beautiful. If you like caves and get to the UK check out Cheddar Gorge

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheddar_Gorge_and_Caves

  24. Dave (original)

    Matt, totally off-topic, but please pass my very sincere thanks onto the Google geniuses that developed and maintain Google’s algo.

    Today I saw a Neuro-Scientist/Neurologist (for a 5 Year on-going degenerative Motor Neuron disorder I have) who gave me a short list of BIG words to search for. I’m happy to say that, not only did Google’s Auto-complete save me many typos, it also lead me direct to EXTREMELY relevant information on the search terms.

    Thanks Google :)

  25. Dave (original), I’m really happy to hear that. I’ll pass on the comment.

    For everyone that hasn’t seen signs of spring quite yet, hang in there. It’ll be coming soon. Unless you’re somewhere like the Southern Hemisphere. Then you still have to wait a while.

    Joost de Valk, yet another reason for me to see the Netherlands sometime. :)

  26. Matt,

    Really nice pictures of a beautiful place.

    We needed a non technical post to bring in the welcome Spring season.

  27. Awesome you like daffs. You could see millions for free if you visited Cornwall in the UK some time, my garden and all the fields around my house are blanketed in them. Supposedly our county, in addition to having some of the worlds finest search marketers ;-), is also the largest producer of Daffodils in the world today :-)

    There’s even a book The Golden Harveat about it you can preview courtesy of Google book search:
    “That half the world’s daffodil acreage is in the UK, with 40 per cent of our 4,000 hectares located in the far south west of England, will be surprising to most admirers of the daffodil: the extensive part played by Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in developing all aspects of its cultivation equally so.”
    http://tinyurl.com/36cd2r

  28. Teddie, cool book! I had no idea that Cornwall supplied so many daffodils..

  29. Dave (original)

    Thanks Matt. My wife and I would both VERY impressed with the accurancy and relevancy of the Google SERPs. Compared to the other BIG SE names, Google is gold. So glad Google doesn’t use paid links ;)

    Back on topic, here is West Oz we have a beautiful display of our Native Wildflowers every Year. They even run tours where people travel by Coach for many hours just to take photos. Quite amazing considering these Wildflowers bloom in one of the driest parts of the World.

  30. I wasn’t aware of the scale of production either before looking it up, I thought it might be a lot because I can see them everywhere each year. If you every visit we also have a some of the UK’s most beautiful sub tropical gardens Tresco Abbey, Glendurgan; and the Eden Project is also a great experience.

    Perhaps?
    San Francisco > Schiphol > Keukenhof
    Schiphol > Exeter > Cornwall & Isles of Scilly
    O’h and for a nice little bonus you could also visit Merlin’s Cave at Tintagel.

    …search, daffs and caves, looks like a European tour is in order next year :-)

  31. And whilst on the subject of Daffodils, I think we should let William Wordsworth have his say.

    I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the milky way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced; but they
    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not but be gay,
    In such a jocund company:
    I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought:

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.

  32. Matt,

    If you like that sort of thing, and you´re ever in the Netherlands in the spring, you should visit the “keukenhof” (roughly translated as “kitchen park”) Keukenhof.

  33. Well if you get near Tintagel and Cornwall, Cheddar Gorge isn’t too far away (and back on the way to London via Oxford)

  34. Love the pictures of Daffodil hill, they are great. I have been in some caves with my daughter here in Colorado and up in the Black Hills. They are fun to go through with a lot of things to see and learn about.

  35. @ Gary Storm: Wookey Hole beats Cheddar Caves any day :-)

  36. Bob Bill

    Was at Daffodil Hill today and they indicated they have about 50% blooming at this time. For anyone interested in going, it looks like it will peak this next week. There was intermittent overcast giving some nice diffused light. However the wind was blowing and these flowers are like little sails. In addition to waiting for a pause, I used a flash off camera from the upper L Rear to back light and stop the motion and nuke them to bring out an inner glow in that bell shaped portion. Some black velvet blocked wind and gave a great background. I am a novice flower shooter so please, tell me they are not girlie. Shooting for camera club competitions caused me to try this subject and I told the friend who encouraged it what DeNiro said in Analyze This- I’ll shoot flowers but “I go gay, you die.” For you folks in cold country- Here in CA we just kept the good seasons. I know having grown up with an upstate NY snow shovel 5 months a year. The other season is 90 minutes away at Squaw Valley and Heavenly. Also, is it possible to post a photo?

  37. Ian M

    Here in the UK we get beautiful bluebell woods – for a few weeks a year the forest floor in some forests turns completely blue.

  38. Diana

    Matt, I live in Rancho Cordova….just down the road from Daffodil Hill. I have planned for years to take my kids (now 20 and 16) and finally pulled it off last year. In years past, I would forget or the weather wasnt favorable. We bought sandwiches and drinks from Safeway then headed up…..and around….and around. I didnt print the driving directions out and missed the signs. I got some great pictures of the flowers and outbuildings. And even though my daughter is at that age where nothing can please her, she enjoyed the trip. My son, who has his own truck now, asked just the other day: “Isn’t it time for Daffodil Hill?” I just know he’s planning on taking one of his girlfriends up there for a special date.

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