LAVA CAPS can appear deceptively uninhabited, especially late in the season (mid-summer and beyond), but caught at the right time, they can be seen blossoming in gorgeous displays of native wildflowers, such as these sky lupine (Lupinus nanus) and the common Madia rammii (tar weed) on a lava cap off Peavine Ridge in the Eldorado National Forest. Photo by Tripp Mikich
EL DORADO Chapter of the California Native Plant Society volunteer Shellie Perry grapples with removing a large and well-established Scotch broom in the Dave Moore Nature Area in Coloma during a recent "Broom Pull" and wildflower field trip. Scotch broom is one of the most invasive plants in the County; a land gobbler, fire hazard and spreading just as quickly. Photo by Steve Perry
BOTANISTS BELINDA LO, left, Annie Walker (center) and Shellie Perry prepare to conduct a relevé (a type of botanical survey technique) on the steep slopes of one of the 22 lava cap sites surveyed in the Eldorado National Forest by volunteer botanists of the El Dorado Chapter of the California Native Plant Society last summer. Photo by Tripp Mikich
BEAUTIFUL and sometimes appearing in dense groups under the edges of the rare Indian or Mewukka manzanitas on the lava caps, this tiny bicolored monkeyflower is easy to spot on the lava cap formations of the Eldorado National Forest. Photo by Tripp Mikich
ANNIE WALKER, right, and another young volunteer dig ground to plant a native willow for bank stabilization and stream control during a volunteer work day last fall for the Indian Valley Restoration Project. More than 100 volunteers from half a dozen organizations worked alongside United States Forrest Service personnel for this long term restoration effort in this beautiful sub-alpine glacial meadow in the Eldorado National Forest east of Carson Pass. Photo by Tripp Mikich

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