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.
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy, in one of its many guises (Photo: publicphoto.org)
We’re making opium poppies our Wildflower of the Week due to an article on page 11 of this week’s Carmel Pine Cone concerning an alert Carmel police officer who discovered an opium poppy growing on a city easement along the side of a Carmel street. The offending plant, you’ll be glad to know, was seized before it could further damage the town’s moral character. After the plant tested positive for morphine, down at the station, it was renditioned to a federal crime lab for “further analysis.” The article concludes by noting that “it’s unknown who planted the illegal poppy.” Your tax dollars at work. Read the rest of this entry »