Gopher snakes (Pituophis catenifer) are found in many different parts of North America, ranging from deserts, wide-open grasslands, and coastal areas. They are so named for their taste for gophers and other small mammals and play an important role in rodent population control. Adults range from 3-8 feet in length and typically live from 12-15 years. Thankfully, gopher snakes are not a threatened species and maintain strong numbers across California.
This winter’s rainfall is bringing some beautiful benefits to Orange County: a budding and colorful show of wildflowers. Joining the sea of red, white, purple and green are the vibrant yellow flowers of Encelia californica. This species is commonly called bush sunflower for its resemblance to a small sunflower; it also looks a bit like a yellow daisy. When flowering, bush sunflowers bring a cheery yellow hue to the landscape and are irresistible to pollinators like bees and butterflies.
Welcome to the Irvine Ranch Conservancy "News from the Field" blog. These articles are written by Conservancy staff about activities and projects in and near the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks.