Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mission Trails in Early Spring

I took a walk through Mission Trails from Old Mission Dam, through south Oak Canyon, and up to the Fortuna saddle. The flowers were incredible, and I even saw some species I'd never seen before. I don't think any were particularly rare. The difference is just that we had some rain this year, whereas in past years when I've been out flower hunting we hadn't.

Old Mission Dam
Old Mission Dam

The fun started in the parking lot, with a rock rose:

Rock Rose

There is a matilija poppy plant, lots of California wild roses, and blackberries there too, but they weren't blooming. Neither was the yerba mansa near the water, just inside the gate. But many of the other common flowers were, and the wild cucumbers were fruiting.

Fiesta Flower
Fiesta Flower

Wild Cucumber
Wild cucumbers

Encelia californica
Encelia californica

Caterpillar Phacelia
Caterpillar phacelia

Cross the bridge, and you see even more:

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Then follow the trail and watch for poison oak.

Ground Pink
Ground Pink

Ground Pink

Morning Glories
Morning glories

Wishbone Bush
Wishbone bush

Wishbone Bush

Wild Hyacinth
Wild hyacinth

California Poppy
California poppy

Camas
Camas

Checkerbloom
Checkerbloom

Checkerbloom

I was so happy to find the ceanothus was still blooming. It is the smell of springtime to me.

Ceanothus

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As you continue toward Oak Canyon, you see even more...

Seep Monkeyflower
Seep monkeyflower

Monkeyflowers
Bush monkeyflower

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Nuttall Snapdragon
Nuttall's Snapdragon

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Miner's Lettuce
Miner's lettuce

Wild Peas
Wild peas

Wild Peas

Jepsonia
Jepsonia, a.k.a. Indian potatoes. This odd plant has an underground corm that is edible. It puts out a flower in the fall and a single leaf in the spring.

Ladyfinger Dudleya
Ladyfinger Dudleya. Edible but not delicious.

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Parry Phacelia
Parry phacelia

Parry Phacelia

Parry Phacelia

Parry Phacelia
(In case it's not obvious, I love this flower)

And up to the Fortuna Saddle...

Fuchsia Flowered Gooseberry
Fuchsia flowered goosberry

Woodland Star
Woodland star

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