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 »


Wildflower of the Week: Star Lily

March 8, 2013

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Star Lily (Zigadenus Toxicoscordion fremontii), AKA Fremont’s Death Camus or Star Zigadene, at Garland Regional Park

It’s been a strange season so far, with heavy rain in the fall, followed by the driest January/February on record. But one flower that seems to be thriving in these odd conditions is the star lily – now abundantly blooming pretty much anywhere you look in Monterey County. Read the rest of this entry »


Veteran’s Day at Mt. Carmel & Pine Creek

November 13, 2012

Bottcher’s Gap Read the rest of this entry »


Blue Moon Rising

August 31, 2012

August in Big Sur Read the rest of this entry »


Wildflower of the Week: Dwarf Brodiaea

August 4, 2012

Deep in the Pt. Lobos woods, there’s a dwarf brodiaea (Brodiaea terrestris) that always seems to bloom a little later than the others. It’s in bloom now so, in honor of that event, we’re making it our Wildflower of the Week.

The late-blooming brodiaea Read the rest of this entry »