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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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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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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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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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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A Wildflower Adventure-Part 2

March 16, 2019 at 7:57 am (California, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers) (, , )

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Rather than wait for all of my Anza-Borrego photos to be edited, I’m putting up a sampler, starting with the last image I made in the 2-1/2 days I was there.

Flower field S-22

These images were made alongside the S-22 road between mile markers 30 and 31. This immense flower field is dominated by the lovely sand verbena.

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A Wildflower Adventure – Part 1

March 15, 2019 at 11:18 am (California, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers) (, , )

California poppies and chia

I missed out on the 2017 California “superbloom” because I was living in Oklahoma, but it’s always been a dream of mine to see and photograph the desert in crazy bloom.

Lake Elsinore

However, there is a very spectacular area in Southern California that is chockablock full of orange California poppies, and I made a stressful detour to see it.

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Carrizo Plain Wildflowers-March 3

March 6, 2019 at 6:44 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, San Luis Obispo County, Wildflowers) (, , )

Yellow hillside daisies at Carrizo Plain National Monument

It only took a week and a little more rain and cool weather, and the yellow splashes on a few hillsides spread like wet paint splattered on the landscape. While most of the wild color occurs just outside the Carrizo Plain National Monument, it is clearly visible from Soda Lake and Seven Mile Roads.

I love clouds that add depth and an ever-changing light show, and because the plain is skirted by two rows of hills, the clouds were held back just enough to allow sunlight to dapple the soft hills.

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