Wildflower of the Week: Crimson Columbine

March 8, 2012

Crimson Columbine (Aquilegia formosa)

Although we spent last weekend riding around on bikes and sailboats, rather than out in the hills, we are reliably informed that crimson columbine is now coming into bloom. So we’re making it our Wildflower of the Week. A member of the Buttercup Family (the Ranunculaceae), this hummingbird favorite is native to western North America, from Alaska to Baja. Read the rest of this entry »

Wildflower of the Week: Pacific Hound’s Tongue

February 25, 2012

Pacific Hound’s Tongue (Cynoglossum grande) Read the rest of this entry »

Fooling Around on Skinner Ridge & Devil’s Peak

February 22, 2012

The views of Pico Blanco and the ocean from Skinner Ridge are at their best in the winter, when the black oaks (Quercus kelloggii) are leafless. Read the rest of this entry »

Wildflower of the Week: Western Wakerobin

February 17, 2012

As anyone who read our previous post could easily have predicted, Western Wakerobin (Trillium ovatum) is our Wildflower of the Week. T. ovatum flourishes, as indicated by the photo, in damp forests – which, around here, means redwood forests. They reach the southern end of their range, along with the redwoods, on Big Sur’s South Coast. Read the rest of this entry »

Fixing Up the Little Sur Trail

February 12, 2012

More than 20 volunteers turn out for a Ventana Wilderness Alliance sponsored work day on the Little Sur Trail. Read the rest of this entry »

Wildflower of the Week: Paintbrush

February 9, 2012

Coast Paintbrush (Castilleja affinis) in Garland Regional Park

Paintbrush, or Indian Paintbrush, is one of the most easily recognized wildflowers in California. It’s found pretty much everywhere and if you spend much time outdoors you probably know it when you see it. Yet determining the species (let alone subspecies) of a given plant can be challenging. While all paintbrush may look pretty much alike to the casual observer, botanists have recognized upwards of 200 individual species – and subspecies beyond counting. Read the rest of this entry »

Wildflower of the Week: Checkerbloom

February 1, 2012

Checkerbloom (Sidalcea malviflora)

There isn’t a lot in flower out there yet, but one thing that quickly responded to the mid-January rain (at least along the coastal terraces) was checkerbloom. This member of the Mallow family generally prefers open meadows, but is also quite common in the pine forests of the Monterey Peninsula. Read the rest of this entry »

A Saturday on Rattlesnake Creek

January 28, 2012

A Saturday with no obligations! I head off to the Ventana Wilderness with no particular destination in mind …

The parking lot for the trailhead at Los Padres Dam is gated for some reason these days, so it’s necessary to park down the hill at the Forest Service Station. Read the rest of this entry »

Wildflower of the Week: Shooting Stars

January 23, 2012

A shooting star (Dodecatheon clevelandii) near Garzas Creek in Garland Regional Park. Read the rest of this entry »

The Fate of the Oaks

October 12, 2011

Trail under coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) on Big Sur’s East Molera Ridge. Quercus is derived from the Celtic quer cuez, meaning “fine tree.” Read the rest of this entry »