Monday, July 7, 2014

Yosemite Wildflowers

I'm told that this was a lousy year for wildflowers thanks to the drought. It was certainly a lousy year for waterfalls. On the flipside, there were fewer mosquitoes than usual (don't worry, there were still plenty and they ate well this weekend).

Lousy or not, the wildflower display was spectacular. Here are my photos. They are mostly taken at altitudes ranging between 7000-8000 feet, although a few come from lower altitudes as I descended the Yosemite Falls Trail. We backpacked from Porcupine Flats at Tioga Rd, past Yosemite Falls toward Eagle Peak, and then backtracked to the Yosemite Falls Trail, taking that down to Yosemite Lodge in the valley. I also did a day hike to North Dome and hiked along Indian Ridge and on the trail toward Eagle Peak.

Trip 2 Group Photo
Here we all are, ready to go!

We saw a TON of different kinds of penstemon, also called beardtongues. There are over 50 varieties in California. Penstemon is in the Plantain family. I did not get a photo or even identify every single type of penstemon I saw.

Azure Penstemon
Azure Penstemon, Penstemon azureus

Azure Penstemon
Azure Penstemon, Penstemon azureus

In which I get photobombed by a bee...
Same plant. A bee snuck in there... can you see?

Closely related are Keckiella. Here is some Gaping Keckiella on the Yosemite Falls Trail.

Gaping Keckiella

Gaping Keckiella

Gaping Keckiella

I also saw a wide variety of monkeyflowers, which are in the Lopseed family (Phrymaceae). We have monkeyflowers in San Diego, but the ones I saw in Yosemite were all new to me.

Common Monkeyflower
Common Monkeyflower, Mimulus guttatus

Layne's Monkeyflower
Layne's Monkeyflower, Mimulus layneae

Crimson Monkeyflower
Crimson Monkeyflower, Mimulus cardinalis

Crimson Monkeyflower
Crimson Monkeyflower, Mimulus cardinalis

From the Asparagus Family, I saw several brodiaeas:

Elegant Brodiaea
Elegant Brodiaea, Brodiaea elegans. Seen on the Yosemite Falls Trail, around 5000 feet.

Alpine Gold Brodiaea
Alpine Gold Brodiaea, Brodiaea gracilis. Seen near the Porcupine Flats trailhead at Tioga Road, around 8000 feet.

Alpine Gold Brodiaea
Alpine Gold Brodiaea, Brodiaea gracilis. Seen near the Porcupine Flats trailhead at Tioga Road, around 8000 feet.

My favorite flowers might have been the lilies:

Leichtlin's Mariposa Lily
Leichtlin's Mariposa Lily, Calochortus leichtlinii. Seen between 7000 and 8000 feet.

Small Leopard Lily
Small Leopard Lily, Lilium parvum. Seen along creeks around 7000 feet.

Small Leopard Lily
Small Leopard Lily, Lilium parvum.

Small Leopard Lily
Small Leopard Lily, Lilium parvum.

Small Leopard Lily
Small Leopard Lily, Lilium parvum.

In the Violet family:

Macloskey's Violet
Macloskey's Violet, Viola macloskeyi. Seen on the trail to Eagle Peak.

In the Buttercup family:

Some Happy "Little Frogs"
Crimson Columbine, Aquilegia formosa. Seen on the trail to North Dome.

In the Heather Family:

Western Azaleas
Western Azalea, Rhododendron occidentale. Seen by the sides of streams around 7000 feet.

Western Azaleas
Western Azalea, Rhododendron occidentale.

In the Purslane Family:

Pussypaws
Pussypaws, Calyptridium umbellatum. Seen everywhere when we were at 7000-8000 feet.

In the Phlox Family:
Skyrocket (a.k.a Scarlet Gilia)
Skyrocket, also known as Scarlet Gilia. Ipomopsis aggregata subspecies bridgesii.

And then there are the gooseberries. These were flowers, but now they are unripe fruit. And before long, they will become bear food. Particularly because I'm probably one of the few people who hike past them that knows they are edible.

Sierra Gooseberry
Sierra Gooseberry, Ribes roezlii. Seen on the Yosemite Falls Trail.

Seen but not pictured:
  • Blue elderberry: Sambucus caerulea (Adoxa family)
  • Yarrow (Aster family)
  • Yosemite Aster: Aster occidentalis (Aster family)
  • Arnica (Aster family)
  • Bull Thistle: Cirsium vulgare (Aster family)
  • Lots of random yellow stuff in the Aster Family that I was too lazy to identify because the zillions of yellow asters out there just aren't that interesting.
  • Baby Blue Eyes: Nemophila menziesii (Borage family)
  • Cow Parsnip (Carrot family)
  • Zillions of different lupine species (Legume family)
  • Corn Lily: Veratrum californicum (Lily family)
  • Mountain Pennyroyal: Monardella odoratissima (Mint family)
  • Scarlet Penstemon: Penstemon bridgesii (Plantain family)
  • Mountain Pride Penstemon: Penstemon newberryi (Plantain family)
  • Spiraea: Spiraea densiflora (Rose family)
  • Blackcap Raspberry: Rubus leucodermis (Rose Family) - fruit, not flowers, and they were delicious!
  • Currants (Saxifrage family)
  • Mountain Violet: Viola Purpurea (Violet family)
  • Snow plant: Scardoes sanguinea (Wintergreen family)
  • Candystick: Allotropa virgata (Wintergreen family)
  • ... and more I did not bother to identify.

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