Data are collected following the hiked path shown below and includes the immediate area.
One fertile flower (male or female), is all it takes to count a species in bloom.
We try to visit a lot of different areas, but areas with a better bloom may be visited more often.
It makes a huge difference if the bloom count is from a very dry badlands area, or from a place with a good rainfall or along a creek.
The data in the graph are averaged out over a couple of days, to show the actual daily bloom count in the graph, click on the legend on the right until only one is active (black).
With only one selected bars will pop up representing the daily bloom count.
Warning its getting dangerously warm.
Bloom is mostly gone at lower elevations.
At higher elevation you can still find some good spots.
Best spots right now
Along the S2, close to Vallecito you find the best Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush bloom. (April 29)
Along the S2, Mason Valley and further south, we should get an excellent display of Agave deserti deserti , Desert agave mid May. (April 29).
Montezuma (S22) a good display of yellow from Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush, the bloom is fading as it moves to higher elevations. (April 29)
Palm Canyon might still be good, a nice display of flowers and will get better, the alternative trail is best. (March 14)
Nice cacti in bloom, the rest is mostly toast.
April/30/2023 Fages monument - CRHT - PCT - Loop
Bloom is much better than expected before we went down into the canyon, late but close to normal, germination is good.
Bloom is lower down in the canyon, germination almost absent, with a peak bloom of Dendromecon rigida | bush poppy.
We hid the jackpot with the smaller plants and small flowering plants.
Erythranthe androsacea | Rock Jasmine Monkeyflower, by far the smallest monkeyflower in the area.
Juncus bryoides, with tiny flowers,
Leptosiphon pygmaeus continentalis | Pygmy Linanthus,
Chorizanthe polygonoides longispina | Long spiked spineflower, with tiny mixed flowers,
Good fields of Lasthenia gracilis.
Here we found the largest population of Chorizanthe polygonoides longispina we've ever seen, stretching for more than 2 miles.
On this trip we found many plants we hadn't seen for more than a year.
Bloom: Good Fages, Lower down into Chariot Canyon.
Good flowering and fragrant Ceanothus perplexans | Cup-leaf ceanothus, flowering Cercocarpus betuloides betuloides | Birch-leaf mountain mahogany, and Arctostaphylos | manzanita.
The Amelanchier utahensis | Utah service berry is beginning to bloom.
We didn't go to the peak, but hiked on to check the Heuchera rubescens | Pink Alumroot plants, and as expected, they were not flowering yet, but were starting to make buds.
Next time the best time will probably be mid-May or later.
There is evidence of a lot of rain recently, but as in most places, the timing was wrong for a good bloom. Thinks looks drier and later than on our previous visits.
Bloom: Low, some perennials good, hardly any annuals.
It's over 100 degrees in town, so a high-altitude hike is in order.
This is not the shortest way to the top, but it is by far the most scenic and less paved.
The goal was to find blooming Garrya fremontii | Fremont's silk tassel, which we'd never seen before.
We had one point from iNaturalist, thanks to Syd.
Long before that, we found many flowering plants along the trail and later near the summit.
We found the smaller shrub that Syd posted.
Most of the Garrya fremontii are male plants with the occasional female.
We found the Heuchera rubescens | Pink Alumroot that Tom Chester pointed out.
The Heuchera rubescens didn't show any signs of flowering this year or the year before.
We followed our detour to the Azalea Spring and found two Malus domestica | Apple in full bloom.
Another great find was a good blooming Lepidium virginicum menziesii | Wild Pepper Grass.
From Azalea Spring we walked down the Azalea Glen Trail.
Here they shredded all the Ceanothus plants, not sure why they did this, but the result seems to be a waste of money, the same Ceanothus are back, forming a nice mono culture again.
An interesting result of the actions, we now have more than 100 large Eriodictyon parryi | Poodle dog bush almost hidden in the shrubs.
We've seen them last year and they look just as good now.
Not sure how the bloom will go, the perennials seem to be doing well and there is more water flowing than in other years, but everything looks dry and some plants look water stressed.
It seems that the rain hasn't been perfect, it has come as snow and rain when it was way too cold.
Bloom: Late, still low, probably normal for the delayed bloom.
It's close to 100 degrees, so a high-altitude hike is in order.
Bloom is late like everywhere else, but there is a lot more water flowing than on our previous visits.
From the beginning there are lots of nice smelling Ceanothus perplexans in bloom.
We rarely see Cardamine californica in bloom, but we found several plants in good bloom.
On a side trip we found a nice blooming Ribes roezlii roezlii | Sierra Gooseberry.
We don't often find blooming Claytonia rubra rubra | Redstem Springbeauty and Cerastium glomeratum | Mouse-ear Chickweed.
By the time we returned to the forested area, the bloom had dwindled to almost nothing.
In the wetter areas we had our first ever blooming Athysanus pusillus.
There are larger fields of Limnanthes alba parishii, which thrives in wet areas.
Mixed with the very easy to miss Montia linearis.
On our last visit, about 4 weeks ago, we found fields of flowering Stebbinsoseris heterocarpa | Grassland silverpuffs, but were unable to confirm the ID.
It's strange that this plant is identical to Uropappus lindleyi | Silver puffs, except for the fruit, which is different. Now we had a positive ID for the hundreds of flowering plants.
This time we took an alternative route that took us around the mesa instead of over it.
Unusual for us to find so many new plants on one trip:
Glebionis coronaria | Crown daisy,
Malacothrix coulteri | Snake's head,
Boechera pulchra | Prince's Rockcress.
We've been looking for Boechera pulchra for a long time, and every time it turned out to be Boechera xylopoda, but not today, we found several plants and luckily they are distinctive.
We took a new route into the Anza-Borrege Desert, using a trail up a canyon in In-Ko-Pah County Park.
On one of our previous routes we found an Astragalus coccineus | Scarlet milk vetch and were really surprised that this was the first record in iNaturalis and Calflora in San Diego County.
It's just that this area hasn't been well traveled in recent years, as we found many more Astragalus coccineus along our route today.
Today's plants are the first plants recorded in iNaturalist in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
The new route worked well, but the other part of us wasn't too happy about having to go uphill again on our way back, it's hard to resist a new marked route.
The cacti are still a few weeks away from their main bloom, Ericameria linearifolia | Narrow leaf goldenbush are starting to bloom.
All in all a pleasant, relatively easy hike, except for some boulders at the top of the canyon in In-Ko-Pah.
The goal was to find the white linanthus, Leptosiphon chrysanthus ssp. decorus, that we've only seen once in 2020.
The annual flowering is much less than in 2020, right now most of the flowering plants are monsoons and perennials.
Again our focus was on the small plants and we found 4 different Nemacladus | threadplants, some of which we hardly ever see.
All the Cylindropuntia, are Cylindropuntia echinocarpa, Golden cholla; Silver cholla, Cylindropuntia bigelovii | Teddybear cholla and Cylindropuntia wolfii | Wolf's cholla, all in bloom.
Many good bloomers Hibiscus denudatus | Rock Hibiscus.
One area is much better, with large flowering Monoptilon bellioides | Desert Star, fresh looking large Mentzelia involucrata | Sand Blazing Star and fresh Langloisia setosissima setosissima | Bristly Langloisia.
The most stunning, huge fields of Trichoptilium incisum | Yellow Head, stretching for hundreds of meters in all directions.
Trichoptilium incisum are common this time of year, but never so many.
On the other side of the saddle many more fresh plants like Ayenia compacta, Krameria erecta and Funastrum hirtellum.
Closer to the car is perhaps the largest field of Psathyrotes ramosissima | Turtleback, there must be over a hundred plants.
Large grasshoppers are out in force and will soon remove what's left of the wildflowers.
We were expecting Hesperocallis undulata | Desert Lily in the sandy part 1/2 hour after the start, but not the hundreds of flowering plants, this might be the largest flowering area we found this season.
Most of the Hesperocallis undulata are rather small, but the flowers are of normal size.
The flowering is different every season, almost no Malacothrix glabrata | Desert dandelion, instead large fields of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena.
A dense forest of large, flowering Eulobus californicus | California Suncup; False Mustard, which made the cross-country hike more interesting.
When we returned just after noon, both Eulobus californicus and Malacothrix glabrata had closed flowers.
We came for the little guys and found plenty of our favorite Nemacladus threadplants and others.
Check out the links below to see what else was blooming.
Bloom: good, sometimes very good, some plants more abundant, others much less than other years.
It's a busy weekend, and this route is about as off the beaten track as you can get.
Bloom is now certainly present up to 4000 feet, best on sandy slopes.
What is affecting the bloom are non-native grasses, such as Bromus rubens | Red Brome, which is covering whole areas.
However, in some areas Amsinckia intermedia | Common fiddleneck acts as a weed and covers large areas.
Erodium cicutarium, Red stem filaree is abundant, but we have never found white flowering plants, until now.
Plants that cover larger areas are Cryptantha intermedia intermedia, Salvia columbariae and Lupinus sparsiflorus.
Flowering in abundance, but often around shrubs such as Phacelia distans | Common Phacelia.
Large Phacelia minor | Wild Canterbury bells in abundance on smaller patches.
Some smaller patches, higher up the hill, of Eschscholzia californica | California poppy, a bit rare in this part of the Anza Borrego Desert.
A good number of Chaenactis glabriuscula glabriuscula | Yellow Pincushion.
This is the second time we've seen Antirrhinum coulterianum | Coulter's snapdragon in higher than usual numbers, some very large plants.
Our first flowering Gilia capitata abrotanifolia, the Globe Gilia of the season.
It's still cool and a little windy, so this seemed like a nice place to be, it was 6 years overdue.
Bloom at the start is always very low, but has picked up nicely.
The best display of Diplacus brevipes on this route.
The large-flowered Lycium cooperi | Cooper's desert thorn are at the beginning of flowering, with the heavy flowers pointing downwards.
Salvia columbariae, abundant with mostly large plants.
Dudleya saxosa aloides | Desert Dudleya are close to flowering and we found the first flower.
Ziziphus parryi parryi | Lotebush are in bloom.
Ericameria linearifolia | Narrow-leaved goldenbush and Eriophyllum confertiflorum confertiflorum | Golden yarrow are beginning to flower.
Acmispon strigosus, Bishop's lotus are in good bloom, while in the fruit the flowers are rising, giving a good flower show in many places.
Some carpets in the washes of Eriophyllum wallacei rubellum | White Wallace's woolly daisy, with a handful half yellow.
A great display of Lupinus sparsiflorus | Coulter's lupine in the washes.
As almost everywhere, it's an unusual top year for Phacelia minor | Wild Canterbury bells, many large plants along our route.
For the first time we found Antirrhinum coulterianum, Coulter's snapdragon (3 in bloom) on this route.
Bloom: Normal, some very good, some almost absent.
April/13/2023 Plum Canyon - North Pinyon Mountain Peak Loop
Not the best day for a hike, temperature in the fifties with very strong winds, the good thing was that the sun was shining.
Bloom is actually good from the start, dropping to normal now and then.
Eriophyllum wallacei rubellum | White Wallace's woolly daisy is certainly above normal, as is Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower, which covers part of the washes.
A relief, Brassica tournefortii, Saharan mustard; Asian mustard is mostly absent in this area.
A couple of years ago, Tom Chester posted Astragalus acutirostris on iNaturalist, we were very excited, but the determination was corrected later on.
Now that we've found Astragalus acutirostris in two different locations, it's time to see if Tom was right.
We found larger plants with flowers and fruits on a ridge that seems to be a favorite spot for some plants.
It was interesting to find a white Phacelia minor | Wild Canterbury bells in the same place where they were found a few years ago, it seems the plants are fertile.
The area is also home to several orange Justicia californica | Chuparosa.
Another goal was to check the population of Calyptridium arizonicum, Arizona pussypaw, and we found several in fruit and one in flower, it was too cold for many plants to open their flowers.
While driving along the S2, this area is heavily infested with Brassica tournefortii | Sahara Mustard; Asian Mustard. The light brown canyon walls are all dried out plants.
We were really surprised to find a stream on the "road", that's highly unusual, a once in a decade or more event. The wash road is deeply eroded.
Fortunately, the stop wasn't even that far from where we parked last year,
The flowering was exceptional after the fire (2021/2022), now non-native plants are taking over (again).
We marked a few 2022 plants, but the creek moved too much and the area was unrecognizable.
Ericameria linearifolia | Narrow-leaved goldenbush are starting to flower and some of the fire follower Argemone munita | Prickly poppy are in bloom.
We changed our route to the other side of Rodrigues Canyon on the Granite Mountain side.
Here we were surprised by a stunning bloom of Lupinus bicolor | Miniature Lupine and Lupinus sparsiflorus | Coulter's Lupine.
There is a good bloom of Echinocereus engelmannii engelmannii | Engelmann's hedgehog (at the beginning) and Mammillaria dioica dioica | Fishhook (closer to the end).
Checking the Herissantia crispa | Bladdermallow scattered in the canyon, the plants look like they will not flower this season, but finally 3 plants in flower, with some plants showing buds.
This is the first time we have found Herissantia crispa on the voucher location, in flower no less.
Last time we were too early to find Anemone tuberosa in bloom, this time we found dozens in bloom.
The Anemone tuberosa was shown to us by Walt Fidler a year ago.
The bloom did not get as much better as we expected, most of the ones we found in mid-March 2023 are still in bloom and got more numerous and bigger.
It was much warmer than expected, in March the temperature was 30 degrees lower than in Borrego Springs, now it was only 10 degrees lower at eighty.
We slowed down a lot, making this a 5 hour hike, even with the shortcuts we took.
We noticed Walt's car at our parking lot and in the boulder canyon we met Walt, he mentioned he wasn't expecting any hikers and certainly not here.
If we have time, we will come back in a few weeks.
Wow, this is a once in a decade or more bloom in these washes.
The cause may be an early thunderstorm that started germination early.
This might explain the large plants of some species.
Most surprisingly, almost no Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy, we are probably a bit at the end of their range.
Salvia columbariae | Chia washes and walls occasionally filled with blankets of huge plants.
Phacelia minor | Wild Canterbury bells larger and more numerous than we might have ever seen. Most plants with large flowers instead of the usual small flowering plants.
With the abundance the changes of odd plants increases, we found a couple of rare white flowering Phacelia minor | Wild Canterbury bells.
Even rarer as we've never seen them before, white flowering Salvia columbariae | Chia, not a couple but more than 10 large plants in 2 places.
We remembered Acmispon strigosus, Bishop's lotus, as rather small flowering plants, but not here, almost all plants are big showy flowering plants, covering washes in many places.
Not to forget the washes covered with Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower, Eriophyllum wallacei wallacei | Wallace's woolly daisy and Nama demissa demissa | Purplemat.
A few fully flowering Lycium cooperi | Cooper's desert thorn are as good as they get.
Most of the perennials are a few days or weeks away from peak bloom, it's mostly an annual show.
I almost forgot about the bee terror, it was like a cartoon, suddenly a whole bunch of bees came after me in full attack mode, I must have gotten too close to a hive.
I was running for my life, getting bitten left and right, the terrain is rough, but I still managed to pick up speed and finally they gave up.
Luckily the bites were not too bad, just minor bumps.
Unfortunately, this whole area is off limits from the 78 without a permit.
There are hundreds of Prunus fasciculata fasciculata, in various stages of bloom, interesting, the best blooming plants are the least showy.
The smell of the different flowering plants is strong, like Lasthenia gracilis | Common Goldfields and Ziziphus parryi parryi | Lotebush.
We waited a long time to visit because it was unusually cold, not so long ago it was close to freezing.
The flowering is varied and already good.
We had planned a much longer hike, but we vouchered so many larger plants and the voucher press, while mobile, is still heavy to carry with a backpack and camera.
After 2 1/2 hours we left everything in the car and hiked to the other side of the road, which is mostly Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
Most of the flowering plants are shown in the link below.
A hike we have wanted to do for a long time.
It is one of the most scenic areas for a hike.
Luckily we planned the route in advance, as there are only two signs on the trail, one at the beginning and one somewhere in the middle, with numerous roads going left and right.
The flowering is still low, except for Cryptantha intermedia intermedia, Lasthenia gracilis, Salvia columbariae and Amsinckia tessellata tessellata.
Several lupine species are in good bloom.
We did however add over 30 new plants to our Imperial County list.
It's getting warmer, still in the fifties at the beginning and seventies at the end.
The goal of the day was to find again the Prenanthella exigua | Brightwhite that were out of bloom at the same time 3 years ago, we did not find any plants.
We found hundreds of Eriogonum deflexum deflexum | Flat topped buckwheat, in all sizes, the best we found were tiny plants with cotyledons, not the cotyledons we expected, but even smaller.
It's certainly drier than on the other side of the S3, but we found enough Spermolepis lateriflora | Bristly Scaleseed and a few Spermolepis infernensis | Hellhole Scaleseed.
The cacti are still slowly going into bloom, only one Cylindropuntia ganderi ganderi | Gander's cholla on our hike.
There are a few fields of Eschscholzia parishii, but nothing like we've seen at Yaqui Meadows.
We found several species of Nemacladus (3) and a few odd Nemacladus glanduliferus | Glandular Threadplant with curved colored petal tips.
Fouquieria splendens splendens | Ocotillo, should be in full bloom soon.
Bloom: above normal, not bad.
Sunny but cool (50) with a light breeze, a perfect day for a hike.
We stopped briefly at the largest known blooming site of Hesperocallis undulata | Desert Lily in the area, which has been blooming for months.
We found several (3) Eulobus californicus | California suncup; false mustard with fasciation, probably common to this plant.
Nama demissa demissa | Purplemat show an amazing abundant flowering this year with huge plants.
This is certainly the year of the giant plant: Salvia columbariae | Chia, Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown-eyed primrose, Lupinus arizonicus | Arizona lupine, and Malacothrix glabrata | Desert dandelion, to name a few.
The goal was to find Stanleya pinnata pinnata | Prince's plume in San Diego County, there was a possibility here as the main population in Riverside County wanders down the canyon.
All of our previous finds have been in Riverside County, where the plants grow in abundance.
We found one flowering plant on iNaturalist in San Diego County and added 2 flowering plants and several non-flowering plants on our trip.
Stanleya pinnata pinnata are late this year, the peak should be in a week or two.
The plants now in San Diego County are probably short-lived perennials.
It was supposed to be cloudy and windy, but it was sunny and hardly any wind.
Since we found Spermolepis on our last hike, we wanted to check out the Spermolepis infernensis | Hellhole Scaleseed.
Right at the beginning we found our first plant and there are probably more than 1000 plants if not much more.
The plants are mixed with some Spermolepis lateriflora | Bristly Scaleseed.
Most of the plants are outside of Anza Borrego Desert State Park, but the population runs right into the park.
Probably for the first time this season we found ground covering patches of Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's Monkeyflower mixed in with the usual large plants this year.
We found Opuntia basilaris basilaris | Beavertail and Echinocereus engelmannii engelmannii | Engelmann's hedgehog in bloom.
A visual treat, most of the walls are covered with Eschscholzia parishii, a rare sight at this scale.
On a hill favored by them we already found the first Eremalche rotundifolia, desert five-spot in bloom, more to follow.
We found them earlier on the route, but they don't open before noon.
April/1/2023 Blair Valley Mason Valley overlook loop
It was unseasonably cold, and even tonight it was probably freezing.
Right from the start we found large Amsinckia intermedia and Phacelia distans.
Soon we found a plant that was on our "must find" list last year, so we didn't expect to find it here, but this time we weren't fooled, in thinking it was Eremocarya micrantha micrantha | Red Root Cryptantha.
Along our route we found a lot of Greeneocharis circumscissa | Cushion cryptantha, which is even more widespread than we thought.
We took vouchers to record these plants.
Another great find from the beginning was a flowering Spermolepis lateriflora | Bristly Scaleseed, right in the wash.
Our goal was to check the population of Acmispon brachycarpus | Short Podded Lotus we found some time ago and take a voucher.
We found a lot of happy flowering plants and some already in fruit.
Along the way we found many blooming Senecio californicus | California Groundsel.
Also the area of the large flowering Mammillaria dioica dioica | Fishhook.
An unusual sight, a Uropappus lindleyi | Silver Puffs in the middle of the wash, not its unusual location.
When we noticed a rare white Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster on iNaturalist, we had to go.
The bloom of Xylorhiza orcuttii is the best we've ever seen in this canyon.
We found several white Xylorhiza orcuttii in bloom, one of which required a scramble up a steep slope normally reserved for Eucnide rupestris | rock nettle.
Speaking of white, there are an unusually high number of white Langloisia setosissima setosissima and Phacelia crenulata minutiflora in this area.
Instead of going right along a boulder, the normal route, we went left and NO WAY Eucnide rupestris | Rock nettle near the wash.
Not many, 3 plants in total.
Now we were on high alert, and yes, a big green plant high up on the canyon wall.
The usual steep slippery dangerous terrain, scrambling up to the highest plants.
About 100+ plants, some impossible to reach.
In this area the bloom is always low, not this season, the bloom is compared to that exceptionally good.
Most of the blooming plants are captured in the links below.
An unusually high number of blooming Sphaeralcea ambigua rosacea, Rosy apricot mallow, ranging from purple to reddish.
A very high population of the huge Johnstonella holoptera | Winged Cryptantha all along our route, hundreds of huge plants.
Visiting an area new to us just south of Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
Non-native plants in abundance.
Large fields of native Amsinckia intermedia | common fiddleneck
Smaller fields of Lasthenia gracilis, Cryptantha intermedia intermedia and Salvia columbariae.
We've added at least 3 plants we've never seen before to our list, probably more to be determined.
Beautiful flowering Acmispon wrangelianus | Chile Trefoil, later a flowering plant for the ultimate proof.
Good to see Phacelia affinis, Limestone Phacelia that we haven't seen for a while.
Best find of the day Astragalus coccineus | Scarlet Milkvetch in an undisclosed location, there are a huge number of vouchers and no iNaturalist and CalFlora observations in the area.
An exception, almost no non-native plants in this canyon.
Lots of big Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower and Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower.
It was cool enough for Eremothera refracta | Narrow leaf suncup to bloom at the start of the hike.
Our best find of the day, a flowering Malacothrix stebbinsii | Stebbins' desert dandelion.
This is probably the best bloom we've ever seen in this otherwise dry canyon.
We did find an odd 2 seeded Ephedra aspera | Mormon tea, that looked different from the other plants.
The Olneya tesota | Ironwood, doesn't look too bad now, but probably less than 12 years ago on our first visit.
This is the first time we made it all the way into the canyon on this very rocky road.
This gave us almost 1 hour extra to explore the canyon.
The non-native plants are mostly gone by the end of the "road", except for fields of Erodium cicutarium | Red Stem Filaree.
We've certainly seen a better bloom on this loop, just small fields of Lasthenia gracilis | Common goldfields.
Still, the bloom is not bad, probably a bit above average.
As in many places, unusually large plants.
Unusual, a patch of showy Acmispon strigosus | Bishop's lotus, a plant with flowers too small to be showy even in full bloom.
Eschscholzia parishii, Parish's poppy, is already covering some of the canyon walls and this should get better.
We try to pick hikes that we haven't done in a long time, and this is one of them.
Brassica tournefortii | Sahara Mustard; Asian mustard is back in force in all the washes along 78.
Brassica tournefortii drops to almost nothing coming out of the Pinyon Wash into Harper Flat.
The wash is dotted with larger Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkeyflower.
Germination is good to very good in the area along Pinyon Mountain Road.
On our route we only found the white Eriophyllum wallacei rubellum, White Wallace's woolly daisy and none of the yellow Eriophyllum wallacei wallacei.
Germination is sometimes very good, with hardly any non-native plants.
On our way back in Harper Flat, the area is covered with Erodium cicutarium | Red stem filaree, leaving little room for native plants.
This loop is high on our repeat list as it will get much better with interesting plants.
Bloom: good, germination good. Harper Flat will get much better within a couple of weeks.
In November 2022 we wrote "A thunderstorm on June 22-23 and about 4" on September 9-10 shows".
And it's still the case, a lot of the same plants, just turned into monster plants, as big as we've ever seen.
Still a very large number of huge blooming Mentzelia involucrata | Sand Blazing Star and Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost Flower.
Strangely, while most of the Mentzelia involucrata still look fresh, the Mentzelia hirsutissima | Hairy blazingstar looked less fresh, with some still in bloom and many drying up.
There are still some walls of Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy, but the Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy doesn't leave much room.
The same thing is happening all over the park, an unusually high number of flowering Aphyllon cooperi | Broomrape.
While we've found some new plants over the bloom, it's certainly past peak bloom here; the area missed out on most of the spring rains.
In this area you will find the largest fields of Lupinus arizonicus | Arizona Lupine, many of them far from peak bloom.
Some of the largest fields of Monoptilon bellioides | Desert Star and Psathyrotes ramosissima | Turtleback we've seen this season.
Bloom: good, sometimes very good, but winding down.
Vallecito creek changed from dense Datura discolor | Desert thorn apple area to dense non-native Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard; Asian mustard.
Once out of the creek, we are in dense cactus terrain without the non-native plants.
Ferocactus cylindraceus is starting to bloom and the other cacti should follow soon.
Countless blooming Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower along our route and lots of not so happy looking Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower.
It could be the cold weather, the wind or they are running out of water, we think the latter.
We now have two flowering Cuscuta, Cuscuta psorothamnensis | Indigo Bush Dodder and Cuscuta denticulata | Desert Dodder in the south.
The bloom seems to have peaked, and the only recent rain we noticed was in Vallecito Creek.
It was a cool 50 degree day with full sunshine and the occasional breeze, a pleasant day for a hike.
Bloom is really good out here, with large mature plants.
Some canyon walls are turning yellow, not with Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy, but with fields of Malacothrix glabrata | Desert dandelion.
Large patches of Phacelia distans and Chaenactis fremontii.
Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower try to cover the walls, but there are too many other blooming plants to make it a good show.
This is also a known site with many invasive Volutaria tubuliflora | Knapweed, many mature plants already producing seeds.
It's a strange season, the bloom is not even that different from October 2022.
The best bloomer is probably Justicia californica | Chuparosa.
One of the pretty bloomers, the small Eucrypta micrantha | Desert eucrypta, many in bloom right now.
Good flowering Fagonia laevis | California Fagonia, many germinating plants from the monsoon rain of 2022, a surprise two white flowering plants.
The best find was a completely white Hibiscus denudatus | Rock Hibiscus, I had to check twice if the ID was correct.
Some very nice flowering Lycium andersonii | Anderson's Desert Thorn.
And some blooming Matelea parvifolia | Spearleaf in two places.
We spend some time examining the female blooming Ephedra aspera | Mormon tea, which is less conspicuous than the showy male plants.
Finally, a couple of Encelia farinosa phenicodonta | Purple-eyed brittlebush, which we've never seen in this area before.
The bloom is certainly coming on here, and if we have the time we will return in a month, we noticed many tiny plants we would like to see in bloom.
Bloom: Bloom normal, should go to good in a week or two.
March/17/2023 Butler Canyon - Hidden Spring - Rockhouse Canyon
Bloom is very good at the beginning of our loop and drops off a bit at Hidden Spring.
Not many non-native plants in Rockhouse Canyon, in Butler Canyon the canyon is mostly clear, but the sides and walls are sometimes full of Brassica tournefortii | Sahara Mustard; Asian Mustard.
The flowering is overwhelming in Rockhouse Canyon, big flowering plants everywhere, germination must have started at the end of 2022 for the plants to be this big.
We took a quick look at the largest and densest blooming Hesperocallis undulata | desert lily field this season.
This year Nama demissa demissa | Purplemat are in unusually high numbers in some places, like here.
Lots of huge Emmenanthe penduliflora penduliflora | Whispering Bells and Salvia columbariae | Chia.
Eschscholzia parishii on the canyon walls in Butler Canyon and we expect the peak in a week or two.
This is the first time our path has been blocked by water in two natural tanks.
We were early and started on the Alternative Trail.
On the way back the parking lot was almost full and the main trail was busy.
The bloom surprised us as good, better on the Alternative Trail.
Many larger Phacelia minor | Wild Canterbury Bells and Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's Monkeyflower.
Some fields of Eschscholzia parishii.
We could actually hear the stream long before we could see it.
Near the trailhead the stream was still unusually strong, no crossing without getting your feet wet.
We decided to loosely follow the creek down, which turned out to be a good idea, the bloom was actually better here.
The best fields of Eschscholzia parishii we've seen this season.
It's clear that most of the seeds were dropped at the end of the stream.
Huge plants in abundance like Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower, Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown-eyed primrose and Malacothrix glabrata | Desert dandelion.
Even a good show of larger Nama demissa demissa | Purplemat.
And not to forget the fields of Johnstonella angustifolia | Narrow-leaved cryptantha that smell everywhere we go.
The non-native plants are present, but not in abundance.
This is the year of Erodium texanum | Texas filaree, we've never seen so many good flowering plants in one season.
It was interesting to see the stream drop from good (you can hear the stream) to nothing within 100 meters.
Part of the hike is in Anza Borrego State Park.
Bloom is still low, with some ground cover of Erodium cicutarium | Red stem filaree.
Lots of blooming Phacelia minor | Wild Canterbury bells and Cryptantha intermedia intermedia | Common Cryptantha.
The best hillsides covered with Salvia columbariae | Chia.
Bloom is good at the parking, moderate along the San Felipe Wash.
Up Chuckwalla, 99%+ of the flowering plants are Brassica tournefortii | Sahara Mustard; Asian Mustard.
After 1 1/2 hours the bloom improved and is almost good at the edge of the wash.
All in all the flowering is probably normal.
At the top of the hike a releaf, Brassica tournefortii, is gone for a while and the bloom is low, but the terrain is scenic.
Along the routel many blooming Mammillaria dioica dioica | Fishhook.
Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus are starting to bloom and we will probably get a good Ferocactus cylindraceus bloom.
From our previous visit it seemed that Pinyon Wash would have a better bloom.
It turned out that the bloom on our loop was actually really good, above average.
Luckily it's a lot warmer than a few days ago with 70+, otherwise the loop would be very cold with a lot of wind in the Harper Flat.
This area must have had monsoon rains and a follow up.
Going up there is a lot of small germination, but further up the plants are getting much bigger and flowering is picking up.
Overall the plants are large and quite dense up the wash we followed.
Lots of large Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's Monkeyflower and an unusual amount of larger flowering Nama demissa demissa | Purplemat.
Even some walls covered with Eschscholzia parishii
The best find of the hike, perhaps the seedling of Matelea parvifolia | Spearleaf.
All in all a good but with 5 1/2 hours a long hike.
A hike deep into the badlands to look for Eriogonum ordii | Fort Mohave wild buckwheat, which we found a few years ago.
We didn't find any Eriogonum ordii, but we did find the ground covered with Eriogonum trichopes | Little desert trumpet, or at least that's what they keyed to.
The Eriogonum trichopes here are unbelievably dense as far as the eye can see, with leaves of all sizes and colors.
A large number of big blooming Langloisia setosissima setosissima | Bristly Langloisia
We've probably never seen so many Chorizanthe rigida | Devil's spineflower and Chorizanthe corrugata | Wrinkled spineflower, there are hundreds of them here.
A few nice patches of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena
White and pale yellow Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown-eyed primrose, as big as they get.
Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster are in full bloom.
At the junction of Diablo and Vallecito creeks are carpets of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena and huge Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose.
Bloom: Bloom good for the area, less at the end of the loop in the badlands.
It's a long drive on the dirt road to our destination. Near the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Brassica tournefortii | Sahara Mustard; Asian Mustard, is present as a dense forest.
The route was planned in advance using Google Earth, and it turned out that our parking spot was the most deserted place in the whole area.
Just over the hill things got better and the bloom turned out to be good.
Brassica tournefortii is everywhere, but on the photos I managed to avoid most of them.
The large and more yellow Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown-eyed primrose bloomed impressively, as good as it gets.
We found many blooming Eriogonum reniforme, a plant we haven't seen in a while.
Here we found our best blooming Erodium texanum | Texas filaree of the year.
Our first large flowering Pholisma arenarium | sand plant of the season and many more are just visible in the sand.
March/6/2023 Bighorn Canyon - Blue Spring - Nolina Canyon Loop
Instead of the loop we hiked to the Astragalus pachypus pachypus | Bush milkvetch fork.
In the fifties and more wind than we expected, we hoped the wind would be less in the shelter of the canyons, it feels just above freezing.
On the way back the sun was present and made the hike pleasant again.
Bloom is low, the best is near the Pinyon Wash and 1 1/2 hours in the canyon where the groundwater is close to the surface.
Dithyrea californica | Spectacle pod are blooming very well at the start.
Acmispon glaber brevialatus | Shortwing deerweed are in good bloom throughout the hike.
Prunus fremontii | Desert apricot are starting to bloom and the few Peritoma arborea | Bladderpod bushes are in good bloom.
There are a lot of rock loving Mammillaria dioica dioica | Fishhook starting to bloom.
Some have fruits. They must have bloomed by the end of 2022.
The most beautiful flowering plants, but only a few, along the trail are Astragalus palmeri | Palmer's milkvetch and Lupinus concinnus | Bajada lupine.
We came to look for Astragalus pachypus pachypus | Bush milkvetch and found 4 in bud, we didn't find any other plants, but we may have missed some.
We kept an eye out for Petalonyx linearis | Narrow-leaf sandpaper and on the way back we found a single plant, still not in flower.
We hiked clockwise.
Plants are good and it's cool enough for some night bloomers with fully open flowers.
Like Eremothera refracta | Narrow leaf suncup and probably our first fully open Lyrocarpa coulteri | Coulter's lyrepod.
An exceptionally large Eremothera boothii condensata | Woody bottlewasher that we had to check to make sure it was a single plant.
A lot of Mirabilis laevis retrorosa | Wishbone plant in unusually good bloom.
It's time for the Mammillaria dioica dioica | Fishhook to go into full bloom.
Ferocactus cylindraceus , California barrel cactus are about to go, we found the first one with a single blooming flower.
Agave deserti deserti | Desert agave bloom is still low, but they are blooming in a wide area, here we found one of the smallest plants we've ever seen.
Somehow it still manages to produce a small flower.
All in all a diverse and good bloom, but not (yet) abundant.
At the end of 2022 we found a plant that closely resembled Petalonyx linearis | Narrow Leaf Sandpaper Plant, but it was too small to be a 100% match.
This time the plants were a perfect match and we now have a total of three plants in the wash.
Much to our surprise the Petalonyx linearis did not show a single flower.
An interesting wash with several different species of Cryptantha and Simpsonanthus jonesii | Mojave popcornflower.
Germination is present and a bit larger than during our visit at the end of 2022.
Beginning to bloom Castilleja foliolosa | Woolly Indian paintbrush and Prunus fremontii | Desert apricot.
The soil of the south fork was partially wet where the groundwater was resurfacing, there is a small stream higher up, and we could see more water flowing in the distance on Pinyon Mountain.
Another goal was to relocate Rhus aromatica simplicifolia | single leaved skunk bush, and we found several almost leafless shrubs.
On Google Earth we noticed a perfect spot for Petalonyx linearis, but found none.
We did find 50+ Johnstonella racemosa | Bushy cryptantha, a plant that is even rarer this season.
And our first Nemacladus glanduliferus | Glandular threadplant this year.
It was a great hike, the only bad thing, the huge boulders kept coming.
It seems to be getting warm enough for insects to get busy, we noticed a good number of bees in blooming Prunus fremontii | Desert Apricot.
March/2/2023 Bow Willow - Mountain Palm Spring Loop
One of the few places with some trails, they are old but you can still follow them if you know where they are.
From Bow Willow we crossed the wash, in a forest of Brassica tournefortii | Sahara Mustard; Asian Mustard.
The route was preplanned using Google Earth, but when we saw a sign for Torote Bowl, the adventurous part of the team wanted to go there.
Unbeknownst to us, the trail ends abruptly at Torote Bowl.
Probably once home to a grove of Bursera microphylla | Elephant Tree, we found only one and the iNat observations seem to show the same tree we found.
Now it is cross country, navigating the terrain and lots of boulders, which makes the other half of the team not very happy.
We found several Antirrhinum filipes | Twining snapdragon, but only one in bloom.
Once in the canyon wash, the plant life improved.
And at the palm grove, the hike became easy again.
This must be the year of Malperia tenuis | Brown turbans, we've never seen so many in so many places.
We recently found an iNaturalis observation of Nama hispida spathulata | Rough purplemat that we had to check out.
Actually 25-50 plants in bloom in the area, we've never seen so many in one place and our second time in San Diego County as this is a more typical Imperial County plant.
Nice to see a few blooming Nicotiana clevelandii | Cleveland's tobacco
This time we did see a number of insects and a butterfly.
It's sunny in the high fifties, a little warmer than yesterday, less windy, in other words very pleasant.
In town it's cloudy with a little rain. At our place it was mostly sunny.
The flowering was good in October last year, now it's much lower.
Erodium texanum | Texas filaree are at their peak, with several plants in bloom.
A bit surprising to find good looking Monoptilon bellioides | Desert Star in the wash.
Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster thrive in this barren terrain.
We found several blooming Cuscuta californica papillosa | Chaparral dodder, if you don't look carefully you will miss the flowers.
The Cuscuta are now easy to identify just by looking at the flower.
Now flowering in the desert are Cuscuta denticulata, Cuscuta psorothamnensis and Cuscuta californica papillosa.
All in their own region and host plants.
A surprise was to find two blooming Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune Evening Primrose.
Less of a surprise was a blooming Aphyllon cooperi | Broomrape, they seem to be blooming north and south at the moment.
We checked a small sink to see if there was anything else besides the flowering Sphaeralcea angustifolia | Narrow-leaved Globemallow and found some small Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune Evening Primrose.
Unfortunately, the Volutaria tubuliflora | Knapweed are out of control now.
It's sunny in the fifties, a little warmer than yesterday and less windy.
The flowering is as good as we hoped, a big difference from Yaqui Meadows.
Caulanthus hallii | Hall's Jewelflower are present in large numbers, large and small plants alike.
The best find of the day was a large number of Phacelia campanularia campanularia | Desert bluebells in a couple of canyons.
Too many to map in iNaturalist.
Phacelia campanularia campanularia is only found in a limited area here.
Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower is also present in large numbers, scattered along the rocky canyon.
Another common sight is Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's Monkeyflower and Gilia stellata | Star Gilia.
We always have to wait for the first Gilia stellata | Star Gilia flowers to open in the morning.
This time an alternative route, not back over the ridge but down a canyon that ends in Box Canyon.
An excellent choice, a bit rocky, but good flowering.
We wanted to find the Johnstonella racemosa | Bushy cryptantha that was recorded there last year.
The plants seem to be short-lived perennials, because we did not find any plants.
The bloom in Box Canyon is much less than in the canyons we have hiked so far.
On our way back we noticed a closure sign, interesting because it blocks access to Box Canyon.
The hike from Third to Second Crossing used to show a good number of flowers, but after the recent flooding and the change in creek flow, the bloom is not very interesting.
It's cold and very windy, not the best combination for hiking.
The canyons block part of the wind.
Snow covered mountains, blue sky and tiny, almost invisible snowflakes blown in by the wind, it is winter for sure.
A rainbow completes the scenery, luckily blue sky and no rain for us.
Although the rain gauge in the area shows a good amount of rain, the plants think otherwise.
It's too cold for the Mammillaria dioica dioica | Fishhook to bloom, which is a shame because we found some nice plants in bud.
An unusually large number of flowering Malperia tenuis | Brown turbans.
A few early flowering Agave deserti deserti, unharmed by the recent strong winds.
There is very little damage from the 100 mph winds, except for a downed Fouquieria splendens splendens | Ocotillo.
Plants are a little better over the saddle, in and out of the wash.
Down in the wash, the sand is wavy, indicating a strong flooding event, here the wash is almost devoid of annuals.
Even in the sandy banks there is little flowering and only some germination.
Frost damage is evident on Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy.
Bloom: Bloom low, germination from good to absent.
Plants are unusually large as expected, especially the many Achyronychia cooperi | Frost mat.
It has been raining, hard to tell how much.
Almost all the Aliciella latifolia latifolia | Broad-leaved Gilia are out of bloom.
It seems like it takes forever to see the Chorizanthe brevicornu brevicornu , Brittle Spineflower get bigger and bigger and finally bloom.
Nice to see two Cuscuta in the same wash, Cuscuta psorothamnensis | Indigo bush dodder (close to flowering) and Cuscuta denticulata | Desert dodder (just in flower).
Cuscuta denticulata is even easier to identify when in bud with its serrated margins.
Lots of Psathyrotes ramosissima, Turtleback and on a sunny sandy slope some unusually large plants in full bloom.
Our favorite southern race of Langloisia setosissima setosissima | Bristly langloisia, the spotted petals make it more visually appealing.
The many huge Mentzelia involucrata | Sand blazing star are nearing their end.
We found the Funastrum utahense | Utah vine milkweed population again, far from bloom (if we get any) and no fruit.
Beautiful fields of fading Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena and Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily, unharmed by the wind.
The best part is the narrow slot canyon, it's amazing that it's still passable, we had to twist, turn and scramble, sometimes tricky to find the right route.
Snow covers the hills around town, very low this time, probably around 1400 feet.
It rained more or less all day.
At our destination it's often dry when it rains in town.
At the start the weather was fine with some sunshine.
Bloom is even good on the first part of the hike (clockwise).
The happy plants are caused by the water running down the Santa Rosa Mountains.
Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody asters are generally in good bloom.
With large Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown-eyed primrose and Chylismia cardiophylla cardiophylla | Heartleaf suncup.
A reasonable bloomer right now is Encelia farinosa, Brittlebush.
Off-roaders, especially motorcycles, are a big problem this season, we've seen them in almost all the canyons and washes in the low desert.
There is not much to stop some of the bad motorcycles, they cause a lot of damage to the washes and make hiking difficult.
We checked a lot of Euphorbia | Spurges for something special.
And we think we found >10 Euphorbia parishii | Parish's sandmat at a known site with a previous plant.
We found Euphorbia parishii in the Mecca Hills a few days ago, but it's rare in the Anza Borrego Desert.
In places where almost nothing else blooms, we found lots of blooming Erodium texanum | Texas filaree.
We had some rain on our hike, and the cheese smell of Ambrosia salsola salsola | Cheesebush was strong.
It was our day off, but the power was out, so we decided to go for a walk at zero crossing, which we knew was very good.
The day before in town we experienced a decade long wind event with gusts over 100 mph.
Surprisingly, we found no wind damage to the plants on this hike.
Most hike down the wash, but the upstream bloom is excellent and no one around.
It was cold but not too windy and best of all, no sandstorm like the one we noticed on Henderson Canyon Rd.
The plants are exceptionally large and flowering, with hardly any insects around and no caterpillars to eat them.
Mostly Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune Evening Primrose, Abronia villosa villosa | Desert Sand Verbena and some Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown Eyed Primrose.
An extraordinary amount of Aphyllon cooperi cooperi | Broomrape in bloom, the host for all plants seemed to be Ambrosia dumosa | Burrobush.
It's amazing how wide the stem of Aphyllon cooperi cooperi is, almost as wide as the plant above ground.
We've never seen such a good and wide bloom at this location.
All the way from Canebrake, the smell of Johnstonella angustifolia | Narrow leaf cryptantha is overwhelming.
The density of Johnstonella angustifolia affects my sinuses, which is not what normally happens in the desert.
Many plants like Ferocactus cylindraceus bloomed after the monsoon rains.
The many Funastrum utahense | Utah vine milkweed are all in fruit.
It seems to be time for Erodium texanum | Texas filaree to really bloom, we found many here and even in our yard in Borrego Springs plants are blooming.
Also peak bloom time for Aphyllon cooperi | Broomrape, unusually early here, in Coyote Canyon, and most likely in other places as well.
There are an overwhelming number of Mentzelia involucrata blooming along our route, most of them very large.
A hill that always seems to be covered by Lupinus arizonicus.
Accompanied by some larger Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower.
At the jojoba wash large fields of all yellow Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown-eyed primrose.
And a few Eremalche rotundifolia | Desert five spot, unfortunately too windy for a really good photo.
At the end a large field of Psathyrotes ramosissima, Turtleback, usually in clusters.
As expected, the flowering is best in a circle around Sweeney Pass.
This area certainly looks like the perennials are struggling.
But desert plants are tough and the bloom was better than expected.
As in most places, Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy is everywhere.
Encelia farinosa farinosa, Brittlebush seem to be close to full bloom.
Bloom will most likely improve.
Here are many blooming Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy earlier than usual.
Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush is in good bloom along part of the trail.
On several sections the Johnstonella angustifolia | Narrow-leaved cryptanth was dense enough to give off a sweet, overwhelming scent.
We haven't seen Bursera microphylla | Elephant Tree since 2016 when we found one that looked dead.
Along the S2 you can see an abundance of Cuscuta psorothamnensis | Indigo Bush Dodder.
We found some Cuscuta denticulata | Desert dodder, but they are far outnumbered by Cuscuta psorothamnensis.
Most of the plants in bloom are in the links below.
This loop is long overdue, for some reason we skipped it for 8 years.
The bloom is impressive, with some huge plants.
Huge Emmenanthe penduliflora penduliflora | Whispering Bells and large Gilia stellata | Star Gilia.
Countless Eulobus californicus | California Suncup; False Mustard.
It was cold, around 50 degrees, so most of the Eschscholzia | Poppies were closed during our hike.
We took the southern part, taking the shortcut, this turned out to be even longer than the original loop, hiking for 5 1/2 hours.
Bloom is very good, but past its peak.
A surprise at the beginning, fields of Oenothera deltoides deltoides, Dune Evening Primrose, we don't remember ever seeing it here.
The most abundant large bloomer at the moment Geraea canescens | Desert Sunflower, showing the lack of recent rain.
The photos in the links show most of the flowers we found.
Bloom: Bloom very good, winding down, diversity moderate.
At the moment this is one of our favorite areas.
This is our third visit this season, in the blistering heat of September and a bit cooler in December, now very pleasant in February.
Mentzelia involucrata | Sand blazing star and Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy are blooming all over in abundance.
A very high number of blooming Chylismia cardiophylla cardiophylla | Heart leaf suncup and Phacelia pedicellata | Specter phacelia.
Many blooming Mohavea confertiflora , Ghost flower, all of them in the shade.
This time we planned a different loop route to find more Eucnide rupestris | Rock nettle and we hit a main population with large plants.
It turned out one of the Eucnide rupestris pollinators are hummingbirds.
Bloom: Bloom very good, winding down, diversity low.
Most of the plants are monsoonal such as Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy on the canyon walls, Eriogonum thomasii | Thomas buckwheat, and hundreds of first year Ambrosia salsola salsola | Cheesebush.
Mustard is abundant in the washes and canyon walls, large and small.
Plants that are present, such as Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower, look near the end of their bloom, perhaps due to recent frost or lack of water.
Bloom is (still) low, but diverse.
Sisymbrium orientale is too abundant near the Vallecito wash.
Among the good bloomers on the first stretch is Amsinckia intermedia.
To our surprise there are still some Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus sphaerocephalus in bloom.
A small patch of flowering Leptosiphon aureus aureus | Golden linanthus together with Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena.
Blooming Agave deserti deserti | Desert Agave are way too early in the season, not many but still more than a few.
Pleased to see Larrea tridentata | Creosote bush as host to Cuscuta denticulata | Desert dodder in a new location.
Eulobus californicus | California suncup;False mustard are very abundant here, used as rabbit food.
Phoradendron californicum | Desert mistletoe with buzzing insects and smells a sure sign of bloom.
The smell of the huge fields of blooming Johnstonella angustifolia | Narrow leaf cryptantha is truly overwhelming.
On our way back we noticed a beautiful flowering bush until we got closer and realized it was a non-blooming Larrea tridentata | Creosote bush.
On the Potrero side of the hill, bloom is better.
Bloom: Bloom is early, moderate.
Last year we found two small patches along the south fork with a good show of Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune Evening Primrose, probably a once in a decade event.
There were no previous observations there and we never thought they would be there in such good numbers and blooming nicely.
The Fish Creek and South Fork blooms are above average.
Above average is still not much, there are an unusually high number of one-year Astragalus crotalariae | Salton milkvetch scattered around the wash.
Our next stop the Mud Palisades, here the bloom is above average and past its peak.
Several Mohavea confertiflora, Lupinus arizonicus, but nothing spectacular.
The purpose was to check the Johnstonella in the darker part of the canyon, which turned out to be Johnstonella holoptera | Winged cryptantha.
Bloom: Bloom is above average.
Next stop is the new slot canyon loop we found last year.
Here the bloom is much better, with numerous larger Langloisia setosissima setosissima | Bristly langloisia.
The most numerous Malperia tenuis | Brown turbans, we don't think we've ever seen so many in one wash and so big.
Another abundant plant is Johnstonella holoptera | Winged cryptantha, in the wash and along the walls.
A good bloom of the many Xylorhiza orcuttii, Orcutt's woody aster.
We checked the Eremalche rotundifolia | Desert five patch we found at the foot of the dry waterfall.
When we checked twice, there was no plant to be found, not some plant you overlook in a rather narrow canyon.
By chance we found a flowering Eremalche rotundifolia | Desert five spot not too far from the car.
Bloom: Bloom is good.
Hard to believe that the late June thunderstorm and about 4" of rain that followed in early September had such an effect on the bloom around Sweeney Pass.
The bloom is super for the first and last part of the hike, dropping off considerably at the top of the hike.
Perityle emoryi, Emory's rock daisy, responded like crazy to the monsoon rains, plants are incredibly numerous and as large as it gets.
Our second sighting of a Tegrodera erosa | blister beetle that seems to prefer Fagonia laevis.
Very numerous and huge:
Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown-eyed primrose,
Mentzelia involucrata | Sand Blazing Star.
A little less numerous and as huge as it gets:
Eremothera boothii condensata | Woody bottle washer,
Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower,
Trichoptilium incisum | Yellow head.
Our first couple of blooming Eremalche rotundifolia | Desert five-spot of the year, surprisingly close to the end of bloom.
We explored one of Henderson Canyon's less accessible forks.
Unfortunately, the road up to the canyon is closed, which adds about 40 minutes to the hike.
Bloom up to Henderson Canyon is good, maybe even better than in Henderson Canyon proper.
A stroll around one of the best flower areas right now.
We looped back along the hillside, that turned out to be not interesting with little bloom, so we headed back to the wash.
Our first two blooming Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily of the season.
Trichoptilium incisum | Yellow head are blooming exceptionally well, here and in many other places we visited the previous weeks.
Other good bloomers: Dalea, Phacelia crenulata ambigua | Notch leaf phacelia (in some good spots) and Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush.
This is one of the most scenic hikes in the park. The many natural tanks in a drainage are still rather full of water, the reason the trail we followed is were it is.
A single Crossosoma bigelovii | Rock crossosoma in bloom.
Horsfordia newberryi | Newberry's velvet mallow really like rocky canyons, here they are present in high number and better looking than average.
One of the goals on the hike: Finding more small Peucephyllum schottii | Pygmy cedar to check the ID and that worked out great.
Most of the blooming plants are in the links below.
Bloom: Bloom is normal and germination is present.
Bloom is not bad up Moonlight Canyon, but in the shade and rather cold.
This is the only part with shade and otherwise pleasantly warm.
Once in Inner Pasture a good show of Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower and Eriophyllum wallacei wallacei | Wallace's woolly daisy.
Bloom drops as we enter Inner Pasture Canyon.
The large number of illegal motor cycle track doesn't help, bloom is practically gone in the middle of the wash.
It also seems to be on the list of illegal immigrants canyons, as we found a cache of water bottles.
This is one of our less favorite canyons to hike in, going downhill isn't too bad, and the wash feels more solid than usual.
One of the unusual events in the canyon, large Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower, hillsides covered with Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy, a good number of Mentzelia | Blazingstar and Petalonyx linearis , Narrow leaf sandpaper plant.
Petalonyx linearis on a known location, recently reported in bloom by group Tom Chester, we haven't seen many younger plants, so this was a must see.
Petalonyx linearis is an annual at this location and shows itself only in a good monsoonal year.
Looking down into Vallecito Creek a pink glow of the unusual amount of blooming Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena.
We are still mapping the range of Proboscidea althaeifolia | Devil's claw;Desert unicorn plant and found the last of the last recognizable monsoonal plants.
Most of the blooming plants are in the links below.
Bloom: Bloom is good and germination is good, way above normal for the time of year, a spring bloom is often more divers and more abundant.
The Eucnide rupestris | Rock nettle plants are certainly big enough to spot by car.
The shiny appearance, like wet from rain and the inflorescence makes it easy to see them from far away.
This is by far the biggest population we and Tom Chester ever found
Now that the plants are bigger than a couple of weeks ago we added even more.
There is something about the canyon that the plants like. The crushed granitic soil that probably absorbs a good amount of water and a flat area above that results in even more water.
Rocks that the plants like and there is more shade in the steep canyons.
It's likely a different climate in parts of the Indian Canyon and Torote canyon that brings more monsoonal rain.
Many Perityle emoryi , Emory's rockdaisy in Torote, but drops off in the fork we went up and into Indian valley.
Finally our first blooming Mentzelia hirsutissima | Hairy blazingstar of the season, big and many.
Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus sphaerocephalus | Desert goldenhead responded to the monsoonal rain, here and in other locations. We noticed more plants in bloom than in any spring.
The same for Marina parryi , Parry's dalea that we've never remember blooming this abundant before, in so many locations.
Most of the blooming plants are in the links below.
Bloom: Bloom is good and germination is good, way above normal for the time of year, even as good as in many spring years.
Our favorite Asclepias subulata | Rush milkweed at the start is long gone, but there are more up in the canyons.
Many of the Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster are almost out of bloom.
The boulder passage was more severe now, but we could still crawl around.
In a lot of locations Psorothamnus spinosus | Smoketree now responds to the monsoonal rain, not as good as in spring, but still good and nice smelling.
We parked a bit higher into the canyon at the point the loop starts.
An larger field of probably over 50 Astragalus crotalariae | Salton milkvetch, some in bloom.
In bloom in higher numbers: Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose and Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower.
In the Fish Creek South Fork, between the loop road exits, our first ever fields of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena and Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose.
Once we came closer to the Abronia villosa villosa, we were welcomed with a pleasant smell.
This was a very short hike see above for hikes on the same date.
Achyronychia cooperi | Frost mat is everywhere along the route we took.
Bloom and germination is concentrated in the sandy areas, a rather large area with a high number of very large Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose.
In the same area lots of Baileya pauciradiata | Laxflower, Stillingia spinulosa | Annual stillingia and large fields of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena.
We even found one Phacelia ivesiana | Ives phacelia in bloom.
In the rocky area closer to the mountains huge Dalea mollissima | Downy dalea and nice blooming Marina parryi | Parry's dalea
There aren't too many bad plants out here yet, except for what seems to be a new Volutaria tubuliflora | Knapweed location.
Bloom is good in the sand dunes.
Bloom: good in the sandy areas, in the same location germination is good.
There is still a closed off sign, that closes off Lower Willows, probably because some tourist had problems with the slippery mud.
Hiking a bit to the east should be fine.
First of all, this is probably the rockiest hike we've done this season.
It's in the sixties, cold enough for the Mirabilis laevis retrorsa | Wishbone plant (a night bloomer) to show its full glory.
Psorothamnus spinosus | Smoketree often bloom here at the end of the year, now all of them are in bloom.
A couple of nice blooming Ericameria paniculata | Blackbanded rabbitbrush.
There are plenty Boerhavia triquetra intermedia | Fivewing spiderling, some Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed and once in a while a couple of nice Amaranthus fimbriatus | Fringed amaranth.
Euphorbia eriantha | Beetle spurge is present in very high numbers along the hike.
Bloom isn't even that bad, but much less then in other places, even a blooming Prunus fremontii | Desert apricot.
The first goal was to find Eucnide rupestris | Rock nettle on a known voucher location.
Carla stepped out of the car and the first plant she checked was a tiny Eucnide rupestris. You never know with vouchers, how accurate the location is, but we are certainly in the right place.
We checked the main canyon systematically and found 37 plants. On our search we scrambled up the canyon sides and some drainages and forks, but weird enough we only found plants in the rocky main wash.
This might be the whole population, or we missed a whole population somewhere hidden in a fork or up a drainage.
It's so incredibly green wherever you look.
Plants are difficult to spot as they look almost identical to the thousands of Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy, both varied in leaf shape and plant color.
Within 10 meters it was possible to spot the right plant to check. Most Eucnide rupestris, look wet and in effect more shiny, in doubt the rough touch of Eucnide rupestris was evident.
In flower as many were, the ID was really simple.
The second goal was to check on the Lepidium fremontii | Desert pepper grass population, only a couple of plants (3), with some in bloom and best of all a seedling (1).
The canyon and its walls are unusually green, we've never seen it like this before and certainly not by the end of the year.
Diversity is low and many mono cultures on the hill sides, like:
A hill covered with Chylismia cardiophylla cardiophylla | Heart leaf suncup.
Many flattish areas covered with Fagonia pachyacantha | Sticky fagonia, many must be very young, most likely germinated this year.
The plant in most abundance overall and by a very wide margin Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy.
This is also the highest concentration of Echinocactus polycephalus polycephalus | Cottontop cactus we know.
Most look happy and with fruit and best of all we found 2 young plants.
We feared it would be difficult to distinguish them from a possible Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus, but it turned out we had a very positive ID on Echinocactus polycephalus polycephalus.
All the blooming plants we found, responded very well to the monsoonal rain, that's might have resembled a good late spring rain, with a probably 4"+ rain.
We've seen most plants in bloom, except for the cacti, 47 in all.
Bloom is better than any spring bloom we've seen in the area, certainly in abundance and maybe in diversity.
Bloom: very good for the area, germination good, plant diversity low.
Bloom is mostly gone, we picked up some of the last.
A bit of a surprise as the bloom was good roadside with fields of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena and Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed.
In Alma Wash,
Bloom on the Allionia incarnata incarnata | Small flowered trailing windmills must have been good.
Some Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed dotted around the area.
The mouth of Alma Canyon is generally one of the better flower spots, but not today.
On other occasions we found Johnstonella racemosa, now the plants seem to be gone.
On our return, we went all the way down the 78, to the highway intersection to check out a reported Asphodelus fistulosus and we found it in bloom.
The bloom, while driving down the Vallecito Wash is still very good.
Up the Arroyo Seco del Diablo "road", frequently whole wall segments broke off, making you realize, you don't want to be there when this happens.
We took an alternative maybe shorter route in a smaller wash.
Bloom for this otherwise barren area is spectacular and germination is certainly good.
Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena is present in abundance.
Many: Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower and Aliciella latifolia latifolia | Broad leaf gilia.
We even found blooming Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose.
This is even better than a good spring bloom.
We have to revisit in February to see how long the bloom lasts.
Bloom: very good, germination very good for the area.
Nov/27/2022 Bighorn Canyon - Blue Spring - Nolina Canyon Loop
The goal was to revisit Johnstonella racemosa | Bushy cryptantha, Bush Milkvetch | Astragalus pachypus pachypus and find Petalonyx linearis | Narrow leaf sandpaper plant.
We only found Bush Milkvetch | Astragalus pachypus pachypus, happy but without fruit or flower.
The best bloomers on our trip Ericameria paniculata | Blackbanded rabbitbrush, Epilobium canum latifolium | California fuchsia, Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush and Condea emoryi | Desert lavender.
Almost no germination in Bighorn Canyon, some as we entered Nolina Canyon, but only for some short stretches.
Perennials look happy and the Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus filled with water.
We did encounter two Aphonopelma eutylenum | California Ebony Tarantula.
We wanted to check out one of our favourite areas, bloom is way past it's peak, but still divers.
The big surprise, a high number of good blooming Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus sphaerocephalus | Desert goldenhead.
Bahiopsis parishii | Parish's goldeneye is still somewhat in bloom and among the thousands of Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush only a few are in some bloom.
One of the better native bloomers, Gutierrezia sarothrae | Matchweed and certainly Eriogonum wrightii nodosum | Wright's buckwheat (nodosum).
Most of the blooming plants are in the links below.
Bloom: good in number of different plants, but low on abundance.
The goal was to visit two canyons that look similar to Indian Canyon, looking for Eucnide rupestris | Rock nettle.
We found nothing, but we did find an excellent November bloom.
Maybe the best find today: blooming Eremothera refracta | Narrow leaf suncup.
Many blooming Mentzelia involucrata | Sand blazing star.
And like in many places almost too many Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy.
Most of the blooming plants are in the links below.
Bloom: very good for the time of year, germination good.
A thunderstorm at June 22-23 and about 4" at Sept 9-10 shows.
Wow, something we've never seen here, canyon walls green from Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy.
This is November, if it were spring this would still be a good bloom.
Our first blooming Mohavea confertiflora |Ghost flower and Eulobus californicus ,|California suncup;False mustard of the season.
Many very large Mentzelia involucrata |Sand blazing star, many in bloom and more to come.
Bloom of the Cylindropuntia ramosissima | Diamond cholla must have been very good, a massive amount of fruit.
Wow a fully yellow Euphorbia polycarpa | Small seeded spurge, we see them rarely.
And the best of all many plants are going to bloom soon.
Bloom: very good for the time of year, germination good to very good.
Ericameria paniculata | Blackbanded rabbitbrush are all in bloom, along the Pinyon Wash Road.
A lot of Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard along the "road" and into the canyon liked the rain.
Germination is very good, especially in the partially sunny canyon.
Manny Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush are in full bloom and Bahiopsis parishii | Parish's goldeneye are blooming just fine.
The many Senna armata | Spiny senna are still in bloom, but certain past peak bloom.
In Harper Canyon, in the shade, many Ericameria teretifolia , Green rabbitbrush in bloom.
Our first blooming Salvia apiana | White sage of the season.
A single blooming Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus sphaerocephalus | Desert goldenhead.
Our seasons first in bloom, Malacothrix glabrata | Desert dandelion and Nama demissa demissa | Purplemat.
All in all the bloom is surprisingly good.
Bloom: good for the time of year, germination good.
Wide fields of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena and some blooming Oenothera deltoides deltoides , Dune evening primrose.
Bloom: very good for the time of year and certainly for the terrain.
We passed wide fields of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena on our way in. It was good enough that we hiked here as well, but that's for another report, see above.
The bloom is interesting and good.
Really pleased to see blooming Atriplex elegans fasciculata | Wheelscale.
Not so long ago the area was covered with Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed, some still remain in bloom.
The washes could be easily named Hilaria rigida | Big galetta, it's really lining the washes for a long time.
As expected we found plenty of the widespread Euphorbia abramsiana | Abrams' spurge.
And so far as we can tell Atriplex canescens macilenta and Atriplex canescens linearis, distinctly different.
Bloom: good for the time of year and certainly for the terrain.
Bow Willow reported a good bloom, time to check out our new loop.
There even was a very late blooming Proboscidea althaeifolia | Devil's claw;Desert unicorn plant close to the start.
Check the photos in the link below.
Our best finds of the day: Our first seedling of Senna armata | Spiny senna, we've been looking for them for a very long time.
Many more Proboscidea althaeifolia on our way back in Rockhouse Canyon.
Bloom is less in the Rockhouse Canyon Wash, good further towards Bow Willow Wash.
We didn't expect much bloom, but we were pleasantly surprised by the densest field of not yet flowering Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose.
Next really huge fields as far as we could see of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena, mixed with huge numbers of larger Achyronychia cooperi | Frost mat.
This might be the first time we noticed the strong sweet smell of Abronia villosa villosa.
The bloom and green plants continued all the way up to Little Clark Dry Lake.
Huge fields of large Sphaeralcea angustifolia | Narrow leaf globemallow.
Close to the lake, huge fields of larger Lepidium lasiocarpum lasiocarpum | Hairy podded pepper grass.
So far the number of Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard was low, until now.
Close to Little Clark Dry Lake, large fields of solid green, mostly Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard.
This certainly looks like a possible habitat for Lepidium flavum felipense | Blair Valley pepper-grass.
We had to check out the area with one of the best bloom, before it's gone.
Our goal was to find more Proboscidea althaeifolia | Devil's claw;Desert unicorn plant in this area and we did.
It's amazing that some of these plants are still in bloom.
We went into Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy overflow, its everywhere in the washes and covering the hillsides.
Hillsides not facing the sun are generally the best right now.
Our first blooming Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy, Mentzelia involucrata | Sand blazing star and Cuscuta denticulata | Desert dodder of the season.
Wide Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed fields, mostly close to the end of bloom.
Spotty Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena and most of the Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster in bloom.
There certainly are a lot of Dalea mollis | Silky dalea, many in bloom.
The good, there are certainly a lot of small Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard, but not many larger happy plants.
But this will most likely change after the winter rains, but some annuals certainly had a head start.
Bloom: in the sandy areas, not bad, good for the time of year, germination plants. In the badlands almost no bloom or germination.
While driving down the 78, the desert looks very barren, nothing in bloom, this looks bad.
On the other hand the water from all the thunderstorms eventually ends up here.
Soon after we hiked down, the densest fields of Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose we've found this season, a single plant in bloom.
Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed are dotted along the creek and many Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower.
Many Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, some in bloom.
Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena, like where not is blooming good.
We added a Atriplex lentiformis lentiformis | Big saltbush seedling to our collection.
Unusual to find both Fagonia pachyacantha | Sticky fagonia and Fagonia laevis | California fagonia close together.
No mature Psorothamnus spinosus | Smoketree, but not for the lack of trying, there are plenty of seedlings.
On our hike the seasons first Aphonopelma eutylenum | California Ebony Tarantula, except for encounters by car.
A couple of blooming Lycium brevipes brevipes | Common desert thorn on our return.
Wondering why we didn't find Eriogonum deserticola | Dune buckwheat, this is a typical habitat, we found a small plant in the wash, not a typical place.
It's probably because it's habitat, small dunes are occupied by mostly dead and dying Prosopis glandulosa torreyana | Honey mesquite.
And last but not least yet another location of Euphorbia abramsiana | Abrams' spurge, now a far from rare, widespread plant.
We wanted to be absolutely sure the South Carrizo Creek trail was dry.
The "road" is a bit sandier than usual, a good sign indicating flash flooding.
A lot of emergency stops along the road to photograph Proboscidea althaeifolia | Devil's claw;Desert unicorn plant, still recognizable from the car by its circular appearance.
Wow, this is a flower hot spot, in spring we would consider this a good bloom, in November this is super.
An Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena overflow along the creek and on the hike and on our way back along the Vallecito Creek Wash Road, really spectacular.
This is one of the best Abronia villosa villosa displays ever, much better than we've seen around Borrego Springs.
At least some of this must be the result of the June 2022 thunderstorm, that washed away part of the S2 at Sweeney Pass.
A lot of first of the season bloomers, shown in the links below.
Bloom: very good, a good number of Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard, germination good to very good.
Many like us will pass The Campbell Grate without thinking about the Vallecito Creek / Wash, hidden behind a hill.
We were curious about the most northern range of the Proboscidea althaeifolia | Devil's claw;Desert unicorn plant Vallecito population and we found several.
This is also one of the densest concentration of Cylindropuntia fosbergii | Mason valley cholla, we mapped some of the hundreds of more plants here.
This are is now covered with sometimes huge Datura discolor | Desert thorn apple.
One of the first areas we've seen a more general Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush bloom.
The creek is dry and at first easy to follow, but getting dens.
There is some sort of wildlife trail in the middle of the creek, making hiking a bit easier.
We stopped as we expected nothing more interesting happening this time of year.
Bloom: not bad, germination spotty, sometimes good, too many non-natives close to the "creek".
The area looked promising, seeing the vast fields of Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed.
Starting on our hike the wash was gone, replaced by a wide dirt road, following the wash.
The "road" seems to turn more south as our destination is in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
The whole area was covered in Boerhavia wrightii | Wright's spiderling, now out of bloom.
Still in good bloom Allionia incarnata incarnata | Small flowered trailing windmills.
All the Psorothamnus spinosus | Smoketree in the canyon are in bloom, some in full bloom.
Starting to bloom and in abundance Perityle emoryi , Emory's rockdaisy.
Bloom: Low, good germination on the canyon walls, but only on the south side (in the shade) and almost nothing on the north (sun facing) canyon walls.
We had to deviate because of the dark clouds and some rainbows.
The goal was to relocate the seedlings Krameria | rhatany we found a year ago. One was dead and the others were probably buried in sand.
Along the Thimble trail Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed close to the end of bloom and one patch of Helianthus petiolaris canescens | Gray desert sunflower.
Some Fouquieria splendens splendens | Ocotillo are in bloom and Cylindropuntia ramosissima | Diamond cholla might still be in bloom.
A very unusual Phoradendron californicum | Desert mistletoe (if that what it is) on Psorothamnus spinosus | Smoketree, it took over the appearance of the host plant.
A large number of larger Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower, some in bloom.
The best find of the day a patch of about 50 Cleomella obtusifolia | Mojave cleomella.
In the sandy areas you find some Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena in bloom.
Driving back along Short Wash and down Fonts Point Wash, plenty of Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed but fainting.
The Isocoma acradenia eremophila | Toothed leaved alkali goldenbush are in good bloom, better than on our hike.
Stepping out of the car right in the middle of one of the densest Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed fields your can find right now.
The smell is overwhelming, the strongest of the season.
Huge blooming Datura discolor | Desert thorn apple.
Closer to the main wash, Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed fields everywhere.
With many Proboscidea althaeifolia | Devil's claw;Desert unicorn plant, some still in bloom.
Euphorbia abramsiana | Abrams' spurge is all over.
Going up towards the hills in a sometimes too dense Prosopis glandulosa torreyana | Honey mesquite, but mostly it's a forest of Larrea tridentata | Creosote bush.
The hills are still pretty, but not even close to what it must have been a week ago when Bahiopsis parishii | Parish's goldeneye were in full bloom. Now some are still blooming, but turning white and sometimes looking weird.
In the sandy areas good blooming Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena and some Allionia incarnata villosa | Large flowered trailing windmills.
Bloom: above average for the time of year, very good flower fields.
The Pena Spring area seems to be one of the best places to look for happy plants.
Driving up the dirt road most Salvia apiana | White sage completely lost their flower stalks.
A couple of weeks ago Bahiopsis parishii | Parish's goldeneye bloom spectacular in this area, now it's back to some individual plants.
Now the one of the best yellow blooming plants is Encelia actoni | Acton brittlebush.
Senecio flaccidus monoensis | Shrubby Butterweed;Mono groundsel are blooming good along our hike.
The Erythranthe cardinalis | Scarlet monkeyflower population hidden in Pena Spring is doing great with a lot of flowering plants.
One of the best bloomers right now are Epilobium canum latifolium | California fuchsia, they are in very good bloom.
And not to forget Mirabilis multiflora pubescens | Giant four o'clock having one of the best end of the year bloom in recent years.
Another happy bloomer right now Brickellia californica | California brickellbush, with a nice smell.
Cordylanthus rigidus setiger | Bristly bird's beak out of bloom almost everywhere, are blooming higher up the canyon.
All in all the bloom on our previous hike, in the area felt a bit better.
The CRH is in bad shape, eroded, narrow and slippery.
Bloom: above average for the time of year, germination good.
There is a road closed sign just past the Elephant Tree exit.
A clearly forgotten sign, because the Gypsum mine truck was driving behind us.
The road washed away at the Fish Creek crossing, now repaired with gravel.
There sure is evidence of flash flooding and the "road" shifted a bit, but is still not worse than previously.
The North Fish Creek Fork, is always a rocky one, in some years we can drive all the way, now we stopped 1 1/2 hour (in and out) before the original parking.
This gives us time to explore the Lyceum Wash.
Leaves on the Lycium fremontii | Fremont's desert thorn are especially large, the recent rain brought the plants back from the brink of dead.
The best bloomer in the Lyceum Wash, Allionia incarnata incarnata | Small flowered trailing windmills with some germination mainly in the shade.
Up a rocky drainage to enter the Rock Canyon from above.
Along the way some dotted Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed and in abundance Boerhavia wrightii | Wright's spiderling.
Finally several blooming Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower.
Bloom: above average for the time of year, germination average.
We picked one of our older hikes in the area that went past Amaranthus torreyi | Torrey's amaranth a plant that was rather uncommon to us for at least a decade, until now.
Finding hundreds of plant indicates, this is an unusually good end of the year.
Off course Amaranthus fimbriatus , Fringed amaranth is present in far higher numbers, but fairly easy to separate.
Both are close to the end of bloom.
Mirabilis multiflora pubescens | Giant four o'clock are exceptionally good blooming, in some years, you almost see none.
There is some Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed and more Cuscuta californica californica | California dodder, mostly along the California trail, than we've ever seen before.
Unusual to find many Phacelia minor | Wild canterbury bells in bloom in October.
Even some blooming Eriophyllum wallacei wallacei | Wallace's woolly daisy and Lasthenia gracilis | Common goldfields.
Germination of native plants is good and we may have a bloom in a month, if it stays warm enough, otherwise they will probably bloom in spring, or both.
We are just in time for prime bloom of Ericameria cuneata spathulata | Wide leaf rock goldenbush, that love boulders.
This is the year that Sorghum bicolor | Sorghum pops up in many places, like here.
We started a bit further up the wash, not much going on up to the park boundary.
The rain skipped a stretch, there is enough Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed around the landfill and towards town.
Hundreds of blooming Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena, closer to the end than the beginning of bloom.
Huge fields of Kallstroemia californica | California caltrop, not much in bloom, because of the cold or most are simply past bloom.
Large numbers of grasshoppers, that will most likely remove the Kallstroemia californica.
Fouquieria splendens splendens | Ocotillo are starting an end of the year bloom.
Some Helianthus petiolaris canescens | Gray desert sunflower are already in good bloom.
Caterpillars Danaus gilippus | queen are fighting, for what is left of the Asclepias subulata | Rush milkweed flower buds. Only 5 buds left for at least 3 Caterpillars.
That's why we often find Asclepias subulata with stems eaten and no flowers.
Germination is not bad, we found plenty Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose, Baileya pauciradiata | Laxflower, Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose and Eremothera boothii condensata | Woody bottlewasher.
The good, almost no Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard along our hike.
The bad, to many Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard closer to the landfill.
Bloom: good for the time of year.
The goal of the day was to find out what happened to the Penstemon spectabilis spectabilis | Showy penstemon seedlings.
They did grow, but still far from bloom.
Like many places right now, it seems like every Bahiopsis parishii | Parish's goldeneye is in full bloom.
Everything yellow, combined with fields of Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed (still fresh) and good blooming Gutierrezia sarothrae | Matchweed.
An overwhelming smell from the many Pectis and a nice smell from Bahiopsis parishii.
Finally Hibiscus denudatus | Rock hibiscus seem to start their bloom, we found many in bloom.
The middle of Salt Creek is the Pectis papposa papposa divide, almost no plants east.
Some Malacothamnus enigmaticus | Enigmatic bushmallow in bloom around the spring and lots of seedling along the slope.
Still many Argemone munita | Prickly poppy, but few in bloom yet and already some died.
Spectacular along the hike a huge number of often enormous Euphorbia abramsiana | Abrams' spurge.
It's rare to see more than a dozen blooming Menodora scabra glabrescens | Broom twinberry.
The mobile water trailer is still there, metal with wooden spokes in the wheels, a nice mix of new and old.
We had the idea that Proboscidea parviflora parviflora | Pink devil's claw was only present along the 78, in fact they wander far into the Wildlife area on both sides of the 78.
Very early in the morning Mirabilis multiflora pubescens | Giant four o'clock are especially pretty. In the morning they gradually close.
Also flowering in the morning Datura wrightii | Jimson weed, forming large fields with huge flowers.
Unfortunately, this used to be a farming area, with an excess of non-native plants.
Further up to Vulcan Mountain and to the south, native plants are more prominent.
This is an overlap area where Cucurbita palmata | Coyote melon and Cucurbita foetidissima | Stinking gourd grow next to each other.
Good bloomers right now are the yellow flowering Encelia actoni | Acton brittlebush and Gutierrezia sarothrae | Matchweed.
You see Amaranthus fimbriatus | Fringed amaranth after monsoonal rain, a plant here and there, but here they grow in large high density fields.
Germination is very good, but 90%+ are not native.
Warning: A reminder, you are ONLY allowed to enter from the S2.
A long 4 hours return from our home, the dirt road into Upper Coyote Canyon is getting worse by the year.
We barely made it to our parking spot, certainly not a road to fall asleep behind the wheel.
Still hard to believe, that a couple of years ago we made it into Horse Canyon by car.
Bahiopsis parishii | Parish's goldeneye is blooming great, as it does all over the Borrego Desert.
Another Cuscuta then lower in the canyon a nice blooming Cuscuta subinclusa | Canyon dodder.
Parks Canyon has one of the largest Hilaria rigida | Big galetta fields you can find in the Borrego Desert.
Smelling a dead deer? in Parks Canyon, the same smell was present in Coyote Canyon, from the blooming Lepidospartum squamatum | Scale broom;California broomsage.
Lepidospartum squamatum , Scale broom;California broomsage are the first to bloom, closely followed by Ericameria paniculata | Blackbanded rabbitbrush, going in full bloom soon.
You can separate Lepidospartum squamatum (bad smell) and Ericameria paniculata (nice smell) by smell right now.
One of the goals was to revisit the Dieteria asteroides asteroides | Hoary aster we found by accident, the last time we went up horse canyon.
The same single plant is still doing fine.
Fun part, on our way back towards Anza we were pretty sure the plants were lining the road, but too dangerous to stop.
Oct/18/2022 Sunrise Trail Head to Rattle Snake Valley Ridge
We haven't been here in October, one of the goals to see Ericameria cuneata macrocephala | Laguna mountains goldenbush in bloom.
There are likely more Ericameria cuneata macrocephala than we found, but they are impossible to spot in this terrain, even in bloom unless you are real close.
We did find a lot, but only one larger plant, hanging from a crack, in the shade, at least most of the day.
Bloom was good for Epilobium canum latifolium | California fuchsia, Gutierrezia sarothrae | Matchweed and Erigeron divergens | Spreading fleabane, the last only close to the start.
There are plenty of Ericameria parishii parishii | Parish's goldenbush but (no longer) blooming faintly.
We did find Limosella acaulis | Stemless mudwort that we've only seen once before, here a lucky find as a couple of these tiny plants are almost invisible.
Strangely enough, we found no evidence of the recent rain, in the two man made pools along our route.
Our goal was to find Tobacco plants that we've never seen before, because of the rain this seems to be a good year.
Germination is very good, but 95% not native, like Erodium cicutarium | Red stem filaree and mustards.
Mirabilis multiflora pubescens | Giant four o'clock are blooming extremely well, at night and early or late in the day.
These are among the best blooming Eriogonum wrightii membranaceum | Wright's buckwheat (membranaceum) we've ever seen.
Some Sphaeralcea ambigua | Apricot mallow in bloom, a high number will follow.
A very common plant out here Scrophularia californica | California beeplant, growing in the many rock formations.
Really spectacular are the huge Datura wrightii | Jimson weed plants, mainly around the rocks.
A group of what might be Euphorbia albomarginata | Rattlesnake spurge, weird looking and growing unusually erect, they seem to be infected.
Unfortunately we found no Tobacco plants at all on our trip. They might have been fire followers or just invisible in the fields of not native plants.
Here we broke one of our first rules, never drive a wash after rain.
It did rain, about 0.l5" and the wash was indeed muddy.
Some of the Cylindropuntia echinocarpa | Golden cholla;Silver cholla are in bloom, most plants show recent full bloom.
Huge carpets of Kallstroemia californica | California caltrop at the end of bloom.
Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed are most likely past peak bloom, not sure what the recent rain will do.
The number of Asclepias subulata | Rush milkweed is high in these washes and most of them are in bloom.
Most of them with one or more Danaus gilippus | Queen eating the buds.
A good number of Cuscuta californica papillosa | Chaparral dodder are starting to bloom, following the return wash down.
Most of them have Psorothamnus schottii | Indigo bush as host.
Oct/14/2022 Warner Springs - California - PCT Loop
It's unusual green at the start of the hike, with many blooming Stephanomeria exigua deanei | Slender wreathplant deanei.
Heterotheca sessiliflora echioides | Bristly goldenaster in a lot more places than before.
A nice blooming white Eriastrum sapphirinum sapphirinum | Sapphire woolly star.
As a surprise one blooming Erythranthe cardinalis | Scarlet monkeyflower, in the dried out creek.
Finally in the drier looking part we went looking for the reason of this trip, Proboscidea louisianica louisianica | Common devil's claw.
YES one good blooming plant and two with battered flowers. A total population of 2 larger plants and 30+ smaller plants.
On our way back the grassland is rather barren and reddish from the grazed Portulaca oleracea | Common purslane.
Next stop the second voucher location and here we went into overload, dozens of big good blooming Proboscidea louisianica louisianica | Common devil's claw.
Driving down the San Felipe Wash the ground is covered by Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop.
Patches of Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed.
It's warm, 93 at the end of our 3 1/2 hours hike.
A surprise at the start, a blooming Proboscidea althaeifolia | Devil's claw;Desert unicorn plant, later we found 2 more down the San Felipe Wash.
Blooming Boerhavia wrightii , Wright's spiderling, extra small Allionia incarnata incarnata | Small flowered trailing windmills, and Kallstroemia californica | California caltrop along our hike.
Strong pleasantly smelling Encelia frutescens frutescens | Button brittlebush.
Some good blooming Lycium brevipes brevipes | Common desert thorn.
The goal of the day, checking on the playa we found last year, it was carpeted with monsoonal plants like Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed.
We could now confirm the ID of the blooming Sphaeralcea angustifolia | Narrow leaf globemallow.
At the end we cut our hike short as we were already 3 1/2 hours underway and it was getting warm.
Bloom: good for the time of year, but winding down.
We've seem Psorothamnus polydenius | Nevada indigo bush barely in bloom once and tried for years.
It seems a monsoonal rain does the trick, > 100 plants in good bloom.
Previously our best bloom of Psorothamnus polydenius was three.
It's still way to warm for this 4 1/2 hour hike at 80-92 degrees, but we didn't want to wait any longer and miss prime bloom.
Bloom is better than we've ever seen, in this generally barren area.
Fields of Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed is a treat.
An overwhelming butterfly activity focused on the many blooming Bebbia juncea aspera | Sweetbush.
Really surprised to see Allionia incarnata incarnata | Small flowered trailing windmills, closing flowers around noon.
Even Fagonia pachyacantha | Sticky fagonia was fully closed on our way back around one o'clock.
Germination is strong, we are tempting to return in a couple of months.
Bloom: as good as it gets in this area, germination strong.
We hiked up Conejos trail and went towards the known location of Ericameria nauseosa bernardina | Bernardina rabbitbrush and Aspidotis densa | Serpentine fern.
The planned route should take us along the plants, but it's hard to know what to encounter from Google Earth.
It was a real bush walk, dense scrubs, fallen trees, burned down shrubs, boulders combined with steeper terrain.
Halfway up looking at the GPS, I was missing the plants as I forgot to update the plant database.
Now we were hiking a bit blind, but after studying the route at home, it should still work.
We found the Aspidotis densa | Serpentine Fern easily, a plant in some abundance and recognizable.
The Ericameria nauseosa bernardina | Bernardina Rabbitbrush was on a strange location according to an iNaturalist observation.
A very hard to get to location, with no plants. Eventually an abundant number of plants in very easy terrain.
We missed prime bloom, if there was any, but any flower works just as well.
The return route was more difficult as we were getting somewhat tired and the stretches of dense scrubs and very rocky terrain were much longer and frequent than we remembered going up.
Oct/08/2022 Blair Valley Mason Valley overlook loop
Bloom in Blair Valley is good with fields of Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed.
The end of the hike is just across one of the best flower places in Vallecito.
Bloom is good and will get better, as many plants are still in bud.
There are an incredible number of Menodora scabra glabrescens | Broom twinberry in bloom.
Krameria erecta | Pima rhatany also responds to monsoonal rain with very good bloom.
We even found one Yucca schidigera | Mojave yucca in bloom and several Agave deserti deserti | Desert agave with flower stalks.
Bloom is significantly better than last years October.
Bloom: good, will get better in a week or two, germination is divers.
We had two goals, first to find better blooming Ericameria nauseosa oreophila - Great Basin Rabbitbrush, no full blooming plants, but this is most likely as good as they normally bloom.
The second: visit the Heuchera rubescens - Pink Alumroot, reported on iNaturalist a couple of years ago.
A slight change of bloom, but it's way to dry now, we might give it another try in May.
The bloom along the PCT Ericameria parishii parishii | Parish's goldenbush past their peak and Gutierrezia sarothrae | Matchweed starting to bloom.
At the Heuchera rubescens location with a lot of shade we encountered the best bloom and better germination.
We noticed seedlings Olneya tesota | Desert Ironwood one iNaturalist and our guess was, they are not correct.
To make sure we went hunting for the real seelings and we rapidly found them underneath a mature Olneya tesota.
Cotyledons are petioled, so that makes things a lot easier.
It's still 95 at the end of our trip, so we made a shortcut, even so the length was still just over 4 hours.
On our loop we went into Proboscidea althaeifolia | Devil's claw;Desert unicorn plant overflow, so many blooming plants.
Many Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus in bloom.
The most stunning and good smelling display Psorothamnus schottii | Indigo bush, most of them in full bloom.
Responding well to the rain: Krameria erecta | Pima rhatany and Allionia incarnata | Trailing windmills.
Cylindropuntia fosbergii , Mason valley cholla are unusually hard to detect from a distance, the Cylindropuntia ganderi ganderi | Gander's cholla in this area match their color nicely.
Luckily we were close to the canyon wall, so we could clearly see them.
On our way back along Vallecito wash a lot of green plants with large leaves, fortunately the good kind: Datura discolor | Desert thorn apple, nothing in bud yet.
This area is a hotbed for Funastrum cynanchoides hartwegii | Climbing milkweed, most of them in bloom.
Many Chilopsis linearis arcuata | Desert willow along the access road are in bloom.
Other good bloomers Senna covesii | Desert senna, Eriogonum elongatum elongatum | Long stemmed buckwheat, Allionia incarnata villosa | Large flowered trailing windmills, Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed, Datura wrightii | Jimson weed and Boerhavia triquetra intermedia | Fivewing spiderling.
Our goal was further into the canyon, to find Malosma laurina | Laurel sumac in bloom. As expected they were out of bloom a long time ago.
So far we found Euphorbia abramsiana | Abrams' spurge in pooling water, but here we found them in two distinct locations, both outside of a wash.
On our way up we marked a plant we couldn't ID, it turned out to be a Abutilon incanum | Pelotazo, that might be the first recorded plant in California YES.
While driving towards Ocotillo, this seemed to be the best flower spot.
That turned out even better than expected, as good as it gets in October.
The loop is and area that looked similar to some of the Tiquilia canescens canescens | Woody crinklemat habitats, a somewhat rare plant in the Anza Borrego Desert.
To our big surprise, we found Tiquilia canescens canescens | Woody crinklemat close to the start of the hike, some of the happiest plants we've ever seen.
That raises the question if they are responding better to monsoonal rain.
Almost every plant out here has at least some bloom including the cacti.
Bahiopsis parishii | Parish's goldeneye is probably the best bloomer in the whole area.
A lot of Funastrum hirtellum | Hairy climbing milkweed are in good bloom.
And the best of the best Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed is everywhere as is it's strong smell.
We tried to catch most of the bloomers in the links.
It would have been even more pleasant if the No See Ums were absent, like small bee stings that you notice after the fact and last for days.
Bloom: as good as it gets this time of year, there is germination.
Oct/01/2022 San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area (south)
Access from the 78 is prohibited, access from the S2 is allowed.
We have a permit, so we crawled underneath the fence.
That was a good thing as we were on eye level of a nice blooming Funastrum utahense | Utah Vine Milkweed.
Bloom exceeded our expectations by a lot, wide carpets of Pectis papposa var. papposa | Chinchweed.
The largest fields and biggest Amaranthus fimbriatus | Fringed Amaranth, we've ever seen.
We had to watch our steps, Hyles lineata - White-lined Sphinx everywhere, in high numbers. We've never expected to see so many after a monsoonal rain.
Hyles lineata on almost every shrub, perennial and annual.
Hyles lineata are much cleverer than expected, grabbing plants and holding them up to feed.
They are even good climbers, getting high in the very green Prunus fasciculata fasciculata | Desert Almond.
Unexpectedly more than 25 Proboscidea parviflora parviflora | Pink devil's claw along our hike.
Bloom might get even better as a lot of perennials were in bud.
The temps are a little bit lower, but with a high of 97 at the end of our hike, it's still dangerously warm.
Carrying large amounts of water makes you top heavy, resulting is a less controlled hike.
After the monsoonal rain there was a very low chance of flowering Echinocactus polycephalus polycephalus | Cottontop cactus.
This is the highest density location in easy hiking reach that we know of, unfortunately non of them bloomed, some showed signs of bloom weeks ago.
In bloom in high numbers: Euphorbia, Allionia incarnata incarnata | Small flowered trailing windmills and Hoffmannseggia microphylla | Hoffmannseggia.
Germinating a massive amount of Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy, a large amount of Fagonia.
A couple of good blooming Lycium parishii | Parish's desert thorn.
There is enough interesting germination that warrants a follow up.
Sept/29/2022 Big Laguna - PCT - Red-Tailed Roost Loop
A nice forest hike checking Dieteria asteroides lagunensis and look a likes.
We were surprised to see so many Linum lewisii lewisii , Prairie flax still in bloom.
An abundant bloom of Eriogonum wrightii membranaceum | Wright's buckwheat (membranaceum).
Probably the best larger blooming plant Hymenothrix wrightii | Wright's thimblehead.
Along the Thing Valley Road Keir Morse posted several Dieteria asteroides lagunensis on CalFlora, that was a great help confirming our ID.
At our furthers point, thunder, not directly above us and we are moving away.
A few drops before we reached our car.
Some rain close the the S1 - 79 intersection, and the road was wet until we closed in on Banner.
From the start, it looks much dryer than expected.
A complication, the West Side Trail is closed due to fire damage, take the Cold Stream trail instead.
The first great spot with a lot of Hymenothrix wrightii | Wright's thimblehead.
Several clusters of Symphyotrichum defoliatum | San Bernardino aster along the route.
A lot of Grindelia hallii | San Diego gumplant, with hardly any flowers and what made our day one big Grindelia camporum | Common gumplant, we've never seen before.
The fire road was partially graded and widened, removing most of the plants.
Ericameria parishii parishii | Parish's goldenbush are mostly past their peak bloom, that seems to be much earlier than before.
Not much going on at the Azalea Spring.
The "road" down luckily had very little maintenance, it was rather dense with a large number of Verbena lasiostachys | Western vervain always blooming with a flower ring and never spectacular.
Now we are really puzzled about what they did with the hillside. The plants were shredded, leaving an almost barren landscape.
Before the area was 99% Ceanothus, right now it's 99% Ceanothus.
Not much has changed and it looks exactly like the hillside that was undisturbed.
We spotted what looked like young pine trees, but wait a minute, that are Eriodictyon parryi | Poodle dog bush, probably hundreds dotting the hillside.
Maybe they performed a prescribed burn, or disturbing the ash worked just as well.
Our target, finding more Ericameria cuneata macrocephala | Laguna mountains goldenbush in bloom.
They bloom from September -> November, right now it seems to be the beginning of bloom.
We made this into a loop hike (Route A1) from Penny Pines and back along Noble Canyon Trail.
This is an exposed trail with the best views of the Anza Borrego Desert.
The only blooming plants Ericameria cuneata macrocephala | Laguna mountains goldenbush at the start of bloom and Ericameria parishii parishii | Parish's goldenbush at the end of bloom.
On our route we found what might be the largest concentration of Eriastrum densifolium austromontanum |, Southern mountain woolly star we've ever seen.
We checked some Ericameria cuneata macrocephala at Kwaaymii point, blooming a bit better.
Sept/23/2022 Chico Ravine - Laguna - Agua Dulce Loop
In the low desert it's way above 100, so the mnt Laguna area is a good place to be, with a max of 77 on our hike.
It's Sunday, so a bit busier, especially with mountain bikers.
Our goal was to find Dieteria asteroides lagunensis | Mount Laguna aster and the many look a likes.
We took a wrong turn and while getting back on track we added Petunia parviflora | Wild petunia, we had not seen before.
Another new plant in bloom and fruit: Rumex salicifolius, Willow leaved dock.
All in all a nice hike with lots of shade on a warm day.
Sept/23/2022 Santa Ysabel Loop - Coast to Crest Trail
It's way to hot in the low desert, so we went to Santa Ysabel: Temperatures from 64 at the start to 87 at the end.
We had plants on our most wanted list Trichostema lanceolatum | Vinegar weed and Deinandra fasciculata | Clustered tarweed.
It turned out the extremely smelly Trichostema lanceolatum is very common out here, blooming everywhere in the lower grassland.
Gutierrezia sarothrae | Matchweed is another general bloomer, with an less abundant bloom as usual.
We had several observation points of Deinandra fasciculata, but non there.
But finally on our way back, close to the dry Santa Ysabel creek, a whole bunch of plants at the end of bloom.
On our trip along the S2 a lot of blooming Proboscidea althaeifolia | Devil's claw;Desert unicorn plant early in the morning.
Countless Hypertelis umbellata | Carpetweed many in bloom and fruit.
Fields of Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed along the road at Smuggler Canyon wash.
The hike: Temperatures are warmer from 80 at the start to 90 3 1/2 hours later.
On June 22-23 2022 there was a substantial thunderstorm in this area and 4"+ Sept 9-10 2022.
Leaves on Justicia californica | Chuparosa about 4 times bigger than normal and very green.
Lots of huge leaved Datura discolor | Desert thorn apple.
The thunderstorm with a couple of feet, erased most of the seeds in the wash that is rather barren.
Germination on the walls and at the edges are good.
We finally found our first ever blooming Atriplex polycarpa | Cattle saltbush.
Many blooming Allionia incarnata incarnata | Small flowered trailing windmills, Boerhavia wrightii | Wright's spiderling, Kallstroemia parviflora | Warty caltrop and some Justicia californica | Chuparosa.
Our first blooming Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus this fall.
We were pleased to find very fresh Krameria erecta | Pima rhatany fruit.
And another cactus in bloom, Mammillaria dioica | Fishhook.
Temperatures aren't bad from 70 at the start to 85 3 hours later.
Our goal was to find some blooming Mammillaria tetrancistra , Common fishhook. This is one of the densest areas on our record.
On our previous visit the plants looked very stressed, maybe the reason we couldn't find any in bloom, or we were just too late.
Hillsides are a bit green, mostly Bouteloua aristidoides aristidoides | Needle grama.
An abundant number of monsoonal plants, like Bouteloua, | grasses, several Euphorbia | spurge, Amaranthus fimbriatus | Fringed amaranth, Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed, Kallstroemia parviflora | Warty caltrop, Boerhavia triquetra intermedia | Fivewing spiderling.
Most of the monsoonal plants are already past peak bloom.
Responding to the rain, many green and blooming Bahiopsis parishii | Parish's goldeneye and Bernardia incana , Western bernardia, the latter often in fruit.
A lot of very green Carlowrightia arizonica | Arizona carlowrightia, but all grazed, probably by the many rabbits we noticed.
On our return we checked Church Spur in Borrego Springs, on Facebook we found a cluster of 3 flowering Mammillaria tetrancistra.
It's a bit warmer here, but a nice refreshing breeze helps.
We didn't have an exact location, only an estimate, so we checked all the trails.
The plants bloomed 2 days ago, that might be out of the 2 day blooming window and we didn't find anything.
The area looks very dry with hardly any germination or happy plants, but a lot of rocks and boulders, so the plants get more water than the 1.5" rain.
We did however find a blooming Mammillaria dioica | Fishhook.