Tripp the plant fantastic at the Coz

By From page B14 | June 21, 2013

Calochortus couruleus

CALOCHORTUS COERULEUS (blue star tulip) is a unique lily found in the shadowed clearings of the National Forest. Photo by Tripp Mikich

“Not Just Any Flower — Native Plants of El Dorado County (Underfoot3)” is the third installment of an ongoing series of photographs on the native flora of El Dorado County by photographer and El Dorado Chapter California Native Plant Society board member Tripp Mikich.

The exhibition highlights 30 plants, many of them unique to El Dorado County and all photographed in the foothills and Sierra of El Dorado County in their native habitats.

Tripp has spent hundreds of hours over the last three years photographing and exploring this rich and diverse plant heritage.

From deceptively bare “lava caps” on the volcanic slopes of the Eldorado National Forest, to alpine meadows and rich stream and riverside habitats of the Sierra; from hidden and brief vernal pools in grasslands, to treeless Sierra peaks or even roadside ditches and neighborhood backyards, El Dorado County hosts a local and unique subset of California’s extensive floral biodiversity unrivaled in most parts of the state.

The selection of 30 images portrays a wide selection of flowers and plants, from quite common to extremely rare, and tries to alert viewers to the uniqueness and beauty that lies hidden “underfoot” as they walk the paths, fields and forests of El Dorado County.

Displayed are flowers so small that one must get down on the ground with a hand lens to even see them and beautiful blooms that are so common that their beauty is overlooked every day.

“Some of the plant subjects are so startlingly beautiful that one is amazed that we live amongst them. Other plants in the show are so unique to our area that they grow nowhere else in the world, and in a total area that would fit easily into many back yards,” Mikich said.

The show runs through July 19, at the Cozmic Café, 594 Main St. in Placerville, and is free and open to the public. Everyone is invited to an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 21.

Framed prints will be for sale with part of the proceeds going to the El Dorado Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

Tripp Mikich grew up in the Diamond Springs area of El Dorado County and lived in what was at the time “the last house on the road,” overlooking the Martinez Creek watershed on its way down to join the Cosumnes River.

Since then, he has worked for a number of national magazines as photo editor and director of photography, including TimeWarner’s “Parenting” and “Fortune” magazines, as well as “Yankee” and “Forbes ASAP.”

Working with a number of photographic organizations, he has curated photography shows at major galleries in San Francisco and elsewhere, including shows at Nikon House in New York City and in the lobby of the UN Building for Year of the Child.

He presently does private portfolio and photo project consultation with photographers in the United State and internationally. He devotes much of his time to work with the El Dorado Chapter of the California Native Plant Society where he serves as communications chair.

He can often be found somewhere in the National Forest assisting CNPS botanists with rare plant surveys or helping lead CNPS field trips. He also recently helped create and implement the American River Conservancy Land Steward Training Program to train “citizen scientists” for monitoring habitat on ARC properties throughout the county.

For more information go to, call 530-748-9365 or visit the El Dorado CNPS Website at

Press Release

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