California Milkweed
(Asclepias californica)
Bodfish-Caliente Road
Kern County

Early May, 1997

The Bodfish-Caliente Road is a fabulous back road adventure. The road runs from Lake Isabella
in the north to Bealville/Caliente (west of Tehachapi) in the south. Narrow and winding, this road
takes you through classic "foothill woodland" and drier Sierran "chaparral" communities: gray
("Digger") pine, blue oak and valley oak, California buckeye, interior live oak, juniper, flannel
bush and scrub oak are just some of the species you will find along the way. Pockets of grass
savannah grow green in spring, abundant with wildflowers. This photographic sequence starts
from the south and heads north toward Lake Isabella.

California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) blooms in profusion in Walker Basin (about the
halfway point to Lake Isabella).

California Buckeye (Aesculus californica) found growing along the bottom of a local drainage (above). The flamboyant bloom is stellar in good years (these blooms easily topping 6 inches in length). Large, pear-shaped seed pods appear in late summer on the bare (drought deciduous) branches of this archetypal California native. Seeds from the previous year were readily starting in the moist sands of the drainage.

A field of California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) in Walker Basin.

California Poppy, side view of the close-up shown above.

The final destination: Lake Isabella
Taken during flood, this shot looks toward the south shore and Squirrel Valley. The Fremont
Cottonwoods (Populus fremontii) pictured here grow on the boundary between the South Fork
Wildlife Area and the Kern River Preserve on the east side of the lake.


Revised: January 4, 2003

This site ©2003 Ann Dittmer.