If you know me, you know winter is my favorite season (I love the cold weather). But there's also nothing I hate about spring in Sacramento. Okay, maybe that's not entirely true. I do hate that we get most of our rain in late winter and early spring, which forces me to reschedule sessions. February and March are usually the most unpredictable. But spring means flowers, and I love searching for those gorgeous pops of color. It starts in February with the almond blossoms, and continues all the way into early summer with the lavender.

I love them all, but my favorite flowers are the lupine. During April, you can find them blooming all along the American River and Folsom Lake. However, they always seem to bloom best when we're in the middle of a drought (like we are now), especially around Folsom Lake in the areas where the water is particularly low. It amazes me that these hardy little plants can survive being dormant, completely submerged under the lake, for years, only to bloom with vigor when the lake level drops.

A little too early

During my first session out at Folsom Lake this year, we weren't actually there looking for lupine. Ashe, true to her breed, is a super active dog so we wanted to capture some action shots. I knew there would be some amazing open space out at the lake because of how low the water levels currently are.

When we got there, I was amazed to find an entire hillside covered in lupine plants, just beginning to wake from their slumber. There were no flowers yet, but I knew within a couple of weeks, the hillside would be covered in purple. Seeing the plants, we decided to make it our mission to find at least one lupine in bloom to photograph Ashe with.

After shooting some wild and crazy action with her, I spotted a touch of purple on the closest hill. Upon investigating, we found it was only vetch, a common (though still pretty) weed this time of year.

cattle dog lying in purple flowers

Ashe lying amongst the vetch.

We decided to check out the opposite hillside where there were some amazing rock formations. That was where we found it - the lone blooming lupine plant. The poor little loner was looking a bit windswept, so we positioned Ashe beside it. to look as if she was coming out of the plant. This quickly became one of my favorite images from the session.

cattle dog standing in front of purple lupine flowers

Ashe with the single blooming lupine.

Almost There

My next session out at Folsom Lake was with Fenton and his pawrents. Unfortunately, the vast hillside of lupine was still waking up, so what I thought would be a magnificent backdrop from him ended up being a bust. But as we walked around, we found another area of unique rock formations with a smattering of lupine blooming around the rocks. We set Fenton up on the rocks and managed to capture a few images of him with the lupine in between him running around.

cattle dog standing amongst blooming lupine flowers

Fenton with the lupine.

Sadly, Fenton was my last scheduled session out at Folsom Lake, but I'm sure the lupine is in perfect form now. Maybe it's the perfect time to take my own dogs out to brush up on their modeling skills.

Ready to plan an adventure with your own pup to find the perfect backdrop for their portraits? Book your session now.


Don't forget to continue following the blog circle to read everyone's "color" posts for this week. Up next is Darlene Woodward of Pant the Town Photography capturing dogs with colorful graffiti north of Boston.

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