The sun is out and the flowers are blooming at Pinnacles National Monument.
Here’s a little of what we saw today …
This is a field of Tufted Poppies (Eschscholzia caespitosa).
(For a closer look, click on a picture to bring up a higher resolution image, then use your browser to zoom in)
Poison Sanicle (Sanicula bipinnata)
Johnny Jump-Ups (Viola pendunculata)
Fiddlenecks (Amsinckia sp.)
A bank of White Fiesta Flowers (Pholistoma membranaceum).
Milk Maids (Cardamine californica)
At once refreshing and narcotic, the powerful scent that wafts from the blooming white ceanothus is one of our favorite aromas – the very essence of Spring in the Central California hills. It’s at the peak of its bloom right now.
Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon clevelandii). Always among the first wildflowers to appear.
Blue-Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium bellum)
Cream Cups (Platystemon californicus)
There were even some mushrooms lurking in the shade. These are Black Elfin Saddles (Helvella lacunosa). Often mistaken for morels, Elfin Saddles are edible but, in our opinion, not particularly good.
Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum)
Larkspur (Delphinium sp.)
Purple Fiesta Flower (Pholistoma auritum)
Woodland Star (Lithophragma affine)
A lush bed of Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata).
California Manroot (Marah fabaceus)
Ressurection Wall, one of the Pinnacles’ most committing, exposed, desperate and horrific climbs, rises with a deceptively serene air above Juniper Canyon. Just another reminder of how nice it is to be spending the day with the flowers.
Wallflower (Erysimum sp.)
Chinesehouses (Collinsia heterophylla)
Silver Lupine (Lupinus albifrons)
Bush Poppy (Dendromecon rigida)
Popcorn Flower (Plagiobothrys sp.)
Gold Fields (Lasthenia californica)
And, of course, California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica).
Want to get out there and see the flowers with people who know their Milk Maids from their Miner’s Lettuce and their Lupine from their Lotus? Check out the Monterey Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Their April Newsletter has a full schedule of upcoming wildflower walks.
For more on Pinnacles wildflowers see this post from March, 2011