April Wildflowers

April 19, 2017

All that rain has really gotten the wildflowers going this month. Here are some highlights from the past few weeks:

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California goldfields (Lasthinia californica) and Gray’s clover (Trifolium grayi), share a meadow at The Indians in the upper Arroyo Seco watershed.

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Monterey mariposa lily (Calochortus uniflorus) blooming at Ft. Ord National Monument.

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Denseflower owl’s clover (Castilleja densiflora) in Carmel.

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Tidestrom’s lupine (Lupinus tidestromii), a federally listed endangered species, attempts to assure its continued existence on the planet by setting some robust seed pods. Development of the beachfront dunes where it makes its home has brought this Monterey native to the brink of extinction.

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Monterey gilia (Gilia tenuiflora arenaria), an even more highly endangered species, is another struggling denizen of the Monterey Peninsula’s vanishing dune ecosystems.

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Pink sand verbena (Abronia umbellata) is holding its own better against the onslaught of houses, hotels and ice plant.

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Yellow sand verbena (Abronia latifolia) is also doing well.

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Orange sand verbena??? Probably the result of a genetic variation. Unexpected color schemes frequently complicate the task of identifying plants.

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Pacific silver-weed (Potentilla anserina pacifica) is salt-tolerant enough to grow right down to the beach.

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Beach evening-primrose (Camissoniopsis cheiranthifolia). Imagine the lupine, gilias, verbenas, silver-weeds, and evening-primroses covering the dunes instead of houses and ice plant and you’ll get an idea of what the Monterey coast looked like 100 years ago.

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Pipestem clematis (Clematis lasiantha) along Paloma Creek.

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Western wallflower (Erysimum capitatum) along the Carmel Valley Rd.

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Indian pink (Silene laciniata californica) in the San Antonio River watershed.

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Canyon liveforever (Dudleya cymosa) at The Indians.

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Mesa brodiaea (Brodiaea jolonensis), named for the bustling town of Jolon; also at The Indians.

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Indian warrior (Pedicularis densiflora) along the Arroyo Seco River.

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A Santa Lucia easter egg balanced on a ridge…

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And it’s not just flowers that like a little warm spring rain. How about highly prized white porcini (Boletus barrowsii) fruiting in a Carmel city park?

 


Soberanes Loop Closed for Maintenance

April 7, 2015

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Here’s something you don’t see every day. Actual State Parks employees at Garrapata State Park. They showed up this morning with a CCC crew, coned off a lot of the parking area and fenced off the access points for the Stone Ridge and Soberanes Canyon trails. Read the rest of this entry »


March Wildflowers: Garzas Creek & Vásquez Knob

March 7, 2015

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The Carmel River’s last major tributary, Garzas Creek, flows through Garland Regional Park.

Here’s some of what’s currently blooming along the creek and on the trail to the top of Vásquez Knob… Read the rest of this entry »


Cone Peak Directissima: Going Sea to Sky on Big Sur’s Stone Ridge

June 16, 2014

Big Sur’s Cone Peak rises out of the ocean about as steeply as any mountain on the planet. It’s summit, at 5,155 feet, lies less than 3 miles, as the condor flies, from the beach. This delivers an average gradient of around 33%; steeper than the rise of Mt. Whitney from the floor of Owens Valley. Making the journey from the beach to the summit on foot takes only a little over 5 miles, thanks to the open slopes of Stone Ridge. And it’s one of the most spectacular walks in Big Sur. Which is saying something.

IMG_1198 Read the rest of this entry »


Wildflower of the Week: Santa Lucia Sticky Monkey-Flower

May 8, 2013

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Santa Lucia sticky monkey-flower (Mimulus aurantiacus var. grandiflorus) blooming at The Indians last weekend.

It’s been a hot, dry spring so far, and most of the wildflowers are already disappearing. That just makes the Santa Lucia sticky monkey-flower, which doesn’t mind the heat, stand out even more than usual; and makes it a natural choice for our Wildflower of the Week.

Read the rest of this entry »


Wildflower of the Week: Indian Warrior

March 29, 2013

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Indian Warrior (Pedicularis densiflora)

We’ve been seeing some good displays of Indian Warrior lately, so we’ve decided to make them our Wildflower of the Week. A former member of the Figwort Family (the Scrophularaceae), Indian Warrior, together with other local favorites like Paintbrush and Owls Clover, is now considered to belong to the Broomrape Family (the Orobanchaceae). Read the rest of this entry »


Ft. Ord Development Headed to the Polls?

March 27, 2013

The following legal notice appeared quietly in today’s Herald: Read the rest of this entry »