Sunny skies in recent days were just what organizers needed to prepare for the fifth annual Ruby Van Deventer Wildflower Show on Friday and Saturday in the Arts & Crafts Building at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds.
Local wildflowers like the fawn lily take center stage Friday and Saturday. Del Norte Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
The signature wildflower for this year’s event will be the Humboldt Lily (Lilium humboldtii) which thrives in shady areas along our roadsides and in our local forests.
The show celebrates the diverse varieties of wildflowers that grow in Del Norte County and honors Ruby Van Deventer and her husband, Arthur Van Deventer.
Ruby Van Deventer was a teacher in Del Norte for many years. She identified and catalogued thousands of local wildflower species. In recent years more than 1,000 watercolor paintings done by her husband Arthur were discovered and published in a book written by David Rains Wallace.
Local artist and teacher Rick Bennett has worked to bring the Van Deventer contributions to the public.
Bennett started the Wildflower Show. Each year volunteers collect hundreds of samples of local wildflowers to display at the show. Rare and endangered species cannot be collected, but there will be photographs and paintings displayed to illustrate them.
Bennett said the county has about 24 varieties of orchids, but they can’t be picked, so the show will have pictures of 18–19 types.
The warm and sunny weather has helped in collecting specimens and pictures of Del Norte’s wildflowers, he said.
“It’s been perfect for our purposes,” Bennett said. “The flowers are coming out. We’ll have a real nice show of them — more than we’ve had before.”
It’s the help of local volunteers that makes the wildflower show happen each year, he said. They do it for the “good of the county and everyone that loves wildflowers.
“It’s very satisfying to see it all come together,” he said.
Many people come from out of the area to see the wildflower show. Organizers publicize the event all the way down to Sacramento and up to Portland to generate buzz, Bennett said.
“It’s been growing,” he said, and that benefits the community. “It’s great for the flowers and it’s great for the people.”
The show will feature several of Arthur Van Deventer’s watercolors. Posters, prints and note cards of his work will be on sale. The show will also feature displays on carnivorous plants, local geology, Native American uses of plants, soils, and Native American basketry. Photos will be on display of many of the 24 varieties of wild orchids that grow in Del Norte.
Third-graders will attend the show Friday to learn more about Del Norte history. They will receive coloring books featuring local wildflowers and a packet of wildflower seeds.
The show will be open Friday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is free.
For further information, contact Rosalie Leaberry at (707) 951-0463 or visit the Ruby Van Deventer Wildflower Show’s Facebook page.
IF YOU GO
• WHAT: Fifth annual Ruby Van Deventer Wildflower Show
• WHEN: Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• WHERE: Arts and Crafts Building at the Fairgrounds
Weekend walks focus on flowers
As an extension of the Wildflower Show, plant identification walks will be held this weekend. There will be brochures at the show detailing the walks. Here are the details:
• Saturday, Stoney Creek, 12:30–4:30 p.m., a botanical destination offering diverse native wildflowers. Meet at the front table of the Wildflower Show.
• Sunday, Dunes Blooms, 9–11 a.m., discover the hidden beauties of Tolowa Dunes State Park. Meet at Lake Earl Wildlife Heaquarters, 2591 Old Mill Road.
• Sunday, Historic Myrtle Creek Trail, 1–4 p.m., join local educator/naturalist Joe Gillespie for a moderate walk featuring serpentine wildflowers and local history. Meet at the trailhead at the Myrtle Creek bridge on Highway 199, 1.4 miles east of the Hiouchi Market, 100 yards before the turn for South Fork Road, pull-off on the right.
• Sunday, Coastal Wildflowers, 1–2:30 p.m., meet National Park Ranger Rachel McCain in the Enderts Beach parking lot for a beautiful, easy stroll along the coastal trail to view spring wildflowers.
• Sunday, Battery Point Lighthouse Plant ID Workshop, 10:30 a.m., venture out with botanist Wendell Wood and Wildflower Show organizer Rick Bennett to Battery Point Lighthouse to identify and label the 140 variety of plants and flowers found on the Battery Lighthouse Island. Meet at the parking area at the end of A St. Copies of the complete Battery Point plant list will be provided to participants. Later arrivals can easily find the group on the island. There is a very low tide mid-day, providing easy access.
For more information about the walks, contact Rick Hiser, 707-465-6191