Monterey County Wildflowers

June 12, 2019 at 5:00 am (California, California Central Coast, California wildflowers, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers) (, )

Harlequin lupine, Lupinus stiversii

We have had six months of pleasantly cool weather with plenty of moisture in California this year, and the Memorial Day weekend was a perfect time to look for tiny treasures in the Los Padres National Forest and environs of southern Monterey County.

The harlequin lupine (above) was perhaps one of the most interesting flowers I found, and it was only in a small patch of ground. They aren’t rare, but I guess they’re also not common.

The color combination of these short lupines is unusual and lovely.

Splendid mariposa lily, Calochortus splendens

There are numerous kinds of mariposa lilies in California, and I’ve seen at least two of them.

Splendid mariposa lily, Calochortus splendens

The splendid mariposa has these white fibers on the inside.

Butterfly mariposa lily

There are several more “normal” types of lupines as well, but even with several guides I’m at a loss to narrow down the species.

I think the lupines with the white tips are Sky Lupines. Several patches of scarlet buglers were alongside the road.

I didn’t realize there were two varieties of the peach colored sticky monkeyflowers until I looked on the Monterey County wildflowers website. Apparently these are Santa Lucia sticky monkeyflowers, Diplacus linearis. When I first saw them last year, they reminded me of the Exbury azaleas common in gardens in the Pacific Northwest.

There were also several types of thistle. I’m going to do my best with the IDs but will change them if somebody more knowledgeable corrects me.

Some flowers had already gone to seed, and I’m thinking the seed display is prettier than the actual blooms. Again, I am giving these IDs my best guess.

Lace parsnip, Lomatium dasycarpum subsp. dasycarpum

Two kinds of clarkia, with one looking more like a miniature magenta poppy.

All of these flowers were on or near the Del Venturi Road that goes through Fort Hunter Liggett into the Los Padres National Forest. Here are some scenes of “The Indians” rock formations and a view off the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.

There were many other flowers as well, and if I know the name, I’ve included it.

The male ruddy duck was displaying at Del Venturi Pond. Well, it took as much time to find IDs for these flowers as it did to make the trip and take the photos! Flowers are a lot harder than birds to identify, but far easier to photograph.

Harlequin lupine

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

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Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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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

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

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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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Central Coast Wildflowers

April 21, 2019 at 8:19 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers)

Jolon, California

My photos needing editing are covering my computer desktop, so I’d better get these up while the flowers are still blooming.

Owl’s Clover and vineyard, Jolon Road

Last year there were almost no wildflowers blooming in southern Monterey County, and the green grasses from the winter rains didn’t last very long.

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Carrizo Plain Just Gets Better!

April 3, 2019 at 3:21 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, San Luis Obispo County, Wildflowers) (, )

I have viewed wildflowers in many parts of the country, from the giant lupines in Maine to the sub-alpine bouquets of Mount Rainier, the bluebonnet and paintbrush fields of Texas, and the superbloom in the California deserts. But I have never seen the type of expansive floral bounty as I have in the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

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Desert Birds

March 30, 2019 at 3:06 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife)

The black-throated sparrow is my favorite sparrow, and the first place I ever saw one was at Big Bend National Park, Texas. They are also common in Southern California, too.

This one’s bushy “eyebrows” look quote comical.

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Coachella Valley Wildflowers

March 30, 2019 at 2:11 pm (California, Mojave Desert, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers) (, )

Blue skies and sunshine are nice, but often lack mood and character. Leftover fog and showers from an overnight rainstorm in the California desert a couple weeks ago gave me a surprising landscape.

Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve

I had visited the Coachella Valley Preserve’s Thousand Palms Oasis about 25 years ago, and remembered it as being a shady forest of native California fan palms with the old, brown leaves folded down around their trunks.

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More Superbloom

March 29, 2019 at 6:41 am (California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers) (, )

Cottonwood Canyon Road off Hwy 166, New Cuyama

I discovered a very pretty hillside two weeks ago when I exited the southern end of Soda Lake Road in Carrizo Plain National Monument, and took a short drive to explore.

I love the soft curves of the grassy hills in Central Coast California, and am still wowed by the brilliant greens which we hardly saw last year. But add in the vivid yellow hillside daisies, and the goldfields belly flowers, and I’m in loooooovvvveeee with the landscape.

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Carrizo Plain Wildflower Feast

March 26, 2019 at 8:30 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, San Luis Obispo County, Wildflowers)

Phacelia

For some reason, people seem to think the purple wildflowers are the most desirable, or at least the best colors to set off the sunshine yellows of the goldfields and hillside daisies at Carrizo Plain National Monument.

State Hwy 58 bordering Carrizo Plain

Me, I’m a fan of yellow. Lemon yellow. The most brilliant yellow that has carpeted the hills and fields of this area. I do love it when a smattering of purple shows up, however. Yellow, green, purple. Sometimes goldenrod where there are the fiddlenecks. If I could get orange California poppies added to the quilt I’d be in wildflower heaven.

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A Wildflower Adventure – Part 3

March 17, 2019 at 7:14 am (California, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers) (, , )

At the risk of having repeats, I’m going to extol the virtues of a wildflower bloom in the Anza-Borrego desert, mainly by letting the photos speak for themselves.

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