Mustard is an invasive weed that has taken over almost every untended field in California's central valley, so every February, the yellow flowers are everywhere. I really shouldn't be admiring its beauty, because if it hadn't taken over everywhere, we'd have native wildflowers instead - a wider diversity of species and therefore a a longer-lasting bloom season. But it's hard to avoid admiring the mustard while it lasts.
When I arrived at the sanctuary, I was greeted by yet another another orchard full of blooming mustard, directly across the levee from the sanctuary.
From on top of the levee, I could see the Sutter Buttes in the distance, with mustard and farmlands in front of them.
I crossed the levee into the sanctuary and followed a very mossy trail along the foot of the levee. The almost impenetrable wall of brush along the right side of the trail consisted mostly of native valley oaks, willows, elderberries, grapevines, and pipevines, and invasive Himalayan blackberries.
The surface of the trail was moss, oak leaf litter, and scattered bittercress plants blooming with tiny white flowers.
Here are some willow flowers from along the trail.
Through the openings in the wall of brush, I could see Wood Duck Slough. I could also hear plenty of birds, but they kept their distance from me. I caught regular glimpses of them, but couldn't get a decent photo of any of them.
The water became greener and greener as it got shallower.
On the other side of Wood Duck Slough were various trails mown into the grass. I followed these trails, hoping to find my way to the Feather River, but the sun was setting and I had to turn back before I found the river.
I did find two valley oak trees that had grown into each other impressively. Appropriate for Valentine's Day?