Coyote Lake Spring

May 19, 2019 at 1:49 pm (California, California wildflowers, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers) (, )

Coyote Lake at sunset

I had an assignment in the Bay Area and on the way home I wanted to explore Henry W. Coe State Park. Unfortunately the annual backcountry weekend was limited to only a few hundred permit holders, and I didn’t realize a permit was needed even just to drive through, so I looked for somewhere else to play.

I passed by an artichoke field in San Martin. I love artichokes! (With butter, not mayo)

I found the lovely Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch County Park, and I got the last campsite! I was surprised to see feral hogs right in the campground. These were actually in a streambed.

A yellow-billed magpie gathered craneflies for her young ‘uns.

Red-winged blackbird displays for his lady
Black-tail does

I found some wildflowers I hadn’t seen before, as well as some cool ones I was familiar with, such as this miner’s lettuce.

Hedge nettle

Fairy lanterns, also known as globe lilies ( Calochortus albus ) were numerous and fascinating.

I had to pry one open to see inside! Yellowish lupines were also common.

I took most of these photos on the road that led to the Gilroy Hot Springs, which apparently is out of commission. There was very little traffic and a joy to explore in the early evening and the next morning.

Even the little flowers of the non-native vetch added welcome color.

The small blooms of this non-native flower were also photo-worthy.

I saw two male common mergansers hanging out with a female, but before I could get a better photo a cluster of cyclists came shouting up the road, scaring them off. Then yelled at me for parking in “the middle of the road” when I was actually safely on MY side, and nobody was behind me because it was a dead end road. I was steamed! Took me awhile to get back my good vibe.

Just walking on the road brought up little treasures that I hadn’t noticed while driving, even slowly.

I’m not sure what type of rock this was, but the patterns were amazing. And the Santa Clara dudleya loved it.

Blow Wives
Bottlebrush (non-native) and Coyote Lake

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

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Malibu Wildflowers

May 12, 2019 at 2:59 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California wildflowers, Nature, Nature photography, Wildflowers)

Phacelia grandiflora

The Woolsey Fire devastated the hillsides of Malibu last year, but fires bring out wildflowers, and the hillsides in and around Newton Canyon were filled with the lovely Phacelia grandiflora, painting the hills a lovely purple.

Site of Woolsey Fire several months ago

Fires release minerals back into the soil, and often in the Spring after a fire the area is lush with greenery and flowers. Some flowers, such as the fire poppy, only bloom after the heat of the flames awaken the seeds. I was not lucky enough to see any of those.

Cardinal catchfly, Silene laciniata
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Joshua Tree Wildflowers

May 5, 2019 at 11:24 am (California, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers) (, )

Cottonwood entrance, Joshua Tree National Park

First of all, apologies for not posting this sooner. I visited this area in mid-March this year. I understand Joshua Tree National Park still has plenty of nice flowers blooming at the north entrance and other areas – albeit different ones.

Lupine and bladderpod
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Pinnacles National Park

May 5, 2019 at 10:42 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Wildflowers) (, )

Owls clover, west entrance

Flowers have been blooming all over California for a couple of months, and despite the end of the rainy season, they are still going strong. Early blooms go to seed and mid- to late-season blooms replace them.

Fremont’s Star Lily

These are among the early bloomers at Pinnacles National Park. The Fremont’s star lily is in the same toxic family as the death camas, which is what I thought it was at first. The park has a nice wildflower guide on its website which set me straight. This visit was on April 15, so the landscape will look different now.

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