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.
Carla found out that we found Greeneocharis circumscissa | Cushion Cryptantha in 2015 along the Jasper trail.
That was a big surprise, as we looked for some time to find Greeneocharis circumscissa, before we found them in 2022 in several locations.
And we found several Greeneocharis circumscissa at the suspected location, happy blooming plants.
Overall, things finally look much better after the 2012 fire and most of the plants restored nicely.
The bloom turned out much better than expected as it is already past mid May, in a very dry year.
Even the Oenothera californica avita | California evening primrose are still looking happy.
As well as many Eriastrum sapphirinum sapphirinum | Sapphire woolly star.
Even some nice blooming Mirabilis multiflora pubescens | Giant four o'clock that are absent in most places.
A surprisingly high number of big blooming Nemacladus sigmoideus | Sigmoid threadplant.
Along the route blooming Dudleya saxosa aloides | Desert dudleya, one unusual growing in a flattish grassy area without rocks, not were usually find them.
And finally our fist blooming Diplacus longiflorus | Hairy bush monkeyflower of the year.
Even a wash filled with happy blooming Diplacus fremontii | Fremont's monkeyflower.
And an almost blooming Monardella linoides linoides | Narrow leaf monardella, that we've been missing in the area for some time.
Finally, at the end some surprisingly big and happy blooming Chaenactis glabriuscula glabriuscula | Yellow pincushion.
The most visible flowering plant: Fields of Linum lewisii lewisii | Prairie flax.
We've seen Arctostaphylos pringlei drupacea | Pinkbracted manzanita in bloom at different elevations for months now.
Saltugilia caruifolia | Caraway leaf gilia is lining the route in some places in high numbers.
Our goal was to look for Heuchera brevistaminea | Laguna mountains alumroot and found several at the voucher location, in surprisingly good bloom.
Heuchera brevistaminea is probably fairly common along the cliffs, but mostly inaccesible. We found some plants at another overlook, finding them is relatively easy now, with the long inflorescence.
Closer to Little Laguna Lake, bloom is far from good, still there are some fields of Pentachaeta aurea aurea | Golden ray pentachaeta and Platystemon californicus | Creamcups.
Our goal was to check on the reported Greeneocharis circumscissa | Cushion Cryptantha, we are finding them along popular hiking trails this season. But we have a much older record along the Jasper Trail.
Right now there are large fields of Eriastrum eremicum eremicum | Desert woolly star and smaller fields of Eriastrum sapphirinum sapphirinum | Sapphire woolly star.
We found several white Eriastrum sapphirinum sapphirinum | Sapphire woolly star in a single spot.
Penstemon centranthifolius | Scarlet bugler are another good bloomer as are Sphaeralcea ambigua | Apricot mallow .
Some Stephanomeria exigua exigua | Slender wreathplant exigua are already in bloom, with many in bud.
As in the whole of Culp Valley Encelia actoni | Acton brittlebush are blooming great.
What surprised us were the large fields of Centrostegia thurberi | Red triangles along the entire route. Mixed with Sidotheca trilobata | Three lobed oxytheca
Another goal was to check on Nemacladus, we only found a few Nemacladus longiflorus breviflorus | Short flowered Long flowered Threadplant.
A surprisingly large number of Castilleja miniata oblongifolia | Giant red paintbrush in good bloom along the route.
Some weird Diplacus fremontii | Fremont's monkeyflower, that are missing the yellow lining in the corolla.
At one spot a very good bloom of Diplacus australis | San Diego monkeyflower.
Finally some good looking Nemacladus longiflorus longiflorus | Long flowered threadplant, hard to spot in a sea of white.
We didn't expect much bloom and it's kilometers of not natives, with the native Stephanomeria exigua | Slender wreathplant sticking above the grasses.
Some nice smelling native Prosopis glandulosa torreyana | Honey mesquite.
All of a sudden mostly native plants and good.
Hundreds of blooming Salvia columbariae | Chia in the wash.
A surprising number of Mirabilis multiflora pubescens | Giant four o'clock still in bloom as we were past noon, but the cooler weather below 80 helped.
Encelia actoni | Acton brittlebush in excellent bloom following the wash.
Senecio californicus | California groundsel was doing very good a month ago and is still going strong.
Cylindropuntia californica parkeri | Cane cholla and Opuntia phaeacantha | Desert prickly pear are in good bloom.
Another good bloomer are the hundreds of Eriogonum fasciculatum polifolium | California buckwheat.
Blooming OK but not spectacular as usual Eriodictyon trichocalyx lanatum | Smoothleaf yerba santa.
Some highly visible fields of Chorizanthe fimbriata laciniata | Fringed spineflower.
Less visible many blooming Eriastrum sapphirinum sapphirinum | Sapphire woolly star, according to the key and vouchers some should be called Eriastrum sapphirinum dasyanthum | Sapphire woolly star (dasyanthum).
Some Helianthus gracilentus | Slender sunflower but to early for a good bloom.
And our friend Nemacladus pinnatifidus | Comb leaved, blooming by the hundreds.
Finally a plant we didn't expect to bloom, but here they are a couple of blooming Hooveria parviflora | Smallflower soap plant, this is one of the few places they are found.
On our way back, two large good blooming Ehrendorferia chrysantha | Golden ear drops, rare to see them this good, long after the fire.
Another fire follower Malacothamnus densiflorus | Many flowered bushmallow, in dense bloom.
Bloom: Good, best in the area (Banner, Santa Ysabel, Julian).
It's still green, but bloom is already past it's peak.
Carpets of Trifolium hirtum, mostly along the road.
Nice big Collinsia heterophylla | Purple chinese houses.
And we didn't expect to find Calochortus albus | White fairy lantern in bloom this season, but here they are.
A couple of Aphyllon fasciculatum, the first we've seen this season.
A bunch of huge Carduus tenuiflorus | Slender flowered thistle, we've never seen before.
The goal was to check on the many Dudleya we found on our last trip.
It's time for Keckiella ternata ternata | Whorled leaf penstemon to start blooming.
In this area Eriogonum fasciculatum polifolium | California buckwheat and Eriophyllum confertiflorum confertiflorum | Golden yarrow are in good bloom.
Adenostoma fasciculatum | Chamise is starting its bloom.
A variety of Clarkia are in bloom.
Another goal was to check the Keckiella antirrhinoides antirrhinoides | Chaparral beard tongue and we noticed a lot of yellow farther into the canyon.
Dendromecon rigida | Bush poppy are almost done, so maybe it is Fremontodendron californicum | California flannelbush that we've been trying to find in bloom higher up at the PCT for some years now.
YES dozens of plants in full bloom WOW, that must be the densest large flowering plant in the area.
Fremontodendron californicum | California flannelbush are lining the west side of the canyon, staying just above the canyon and spreading to about 30 meters out of the canyon.
After that more yellow plants, a couple of good blooming Keckiella antirrhinoides antirrhinoides | Chaparral beard tongue.
This time we went farther into the canyon, that turned out a good idea, here the creek is still barely flowing, with some water pooling.
Both Dudleya in the same canyon, left (east) Dudleya saxosa aloides and right (west) on the steeper canyon wall Dudleya arizonica.
The Dudleya saxosa aloides | Desert dudleya are starting to bloom, for the Dudleya arizonica | Arizona chalk dudleya it's probably one month too early.
May/07/2022 Sunrise Trail Head to Rattle Snake Valley Ridge
We planned this route years ago, now is the time for a hike.
Most visible bloomers Dendromecon rigida | Bush poppy, Penstemon spectabilis spectabilis | Showy penstemon and the forest of Arctostaphylos pringlei drupacea | Pinkbracted manzanita.
While the germination is low, we did find some small plants that we've not seen before like Trichostema austromontanum austromontanum and Juncus bryoides | Moss Rush.
Open terrain with hardly any shrubs, mostly non native plants.
Calochortus splendens | Splendid mariposa lily and Sisyrinchium bellum | Blue eyed grass are some of the few that are still thriving in the grasslands.
We did find several new plants, in places were they didn't remove everything to make room for grass.
Along the creek we found plants new to us in San Diego County, but most of them non natives.
The busiest trail in the Santa Ysabel Preserve by far.
In itself a surprise, because this isn't the easiest trail in the preserve, but closer to the cities.
May/03/2022 CRH - Soapstone Grade - Upper Green Valley - La Cima trail
Our expectations were low, as this isn't too far south from the Milk Ranch Road that was rather dry.
This time we took the route in revers, clock wise.
Surprise, the bloom is one notch better here, not like in a normal year but not bad.
Like most places, bloom is still late.
This time we spotted a Aphyllon tuberosum | Chaparral broomrape from the right direction, going clockwise.
Good fields of Leptosiphon parviflorus | Common linanthus, spotty but good looking Diplacus brevipes | Wide throated yellow monkeyflower.
We went up a couple of drainages uphill adding an hour to our trip, here the bloom was certainly a bit better.
Large fields Acmispon argophyllus argophyllus | Silver leaf lotus, that should be called rock lotus.
In the meadow fields of Gilia diegensis | Coastal gilia.
Our smallest find Leptosiphon pygmaeus continentalis | Pygmy linanthus as small as it gets.
A bit north of the original route good fields of Lasthenia gracilis | Common goldfields mixed with Layia platyglossa | Coastal tidytips, and Platystemon californicus | Creamcups.
On our last visit in 2019 around the same time I wrote "Bloom around Whale Peak isn't very good this season".
Compared to this year that was a good bloom.
Our goal was to check out Cryptantha we found in 2019, that might be one of our missing Greeneocharis circumscissa.
Cryptantha are one of of the few flowering plants along the route.
What we did find were a lot of Nemacladus sigmoideus | Sigmoid threadplant.
The plants are a bit more yellow than what we usually find and one almost yellow from a distance.
Another goal was to check on the Gilia mexicana | El Paso Gilia that we found in 2019.
We didn't find any Gilia on our entire trip, until we hit the Gilia mexicana location.
There they are very very difficult to spot as they blend in perfectly, but in fruit and some with a recently done flower.
This is certainly the best spot on our entire route, there must be hundreds of Eriophyllum pringlei | Pringle's woolly sunflower in bloom.
And one Gilia with a done blue flower, that turned out to be a small Gilia stellata | Star gilia.
Yes suddenly a blooming Gilia mexicana, last time we were unable to get a good photo as it was very very windy, now the weather was perfect.
April/29/2022 Santa Ysabel Loop - Coast to Crest Trail
This time we took the connector to the Coast to Crest Trail to make a real loop.
The connector to the Coast to Crest Trail is a meadow hike along the hillside.
Here we added a couple of plants new to us in the USA.
Bloom is certainly better than 3 weeks ago, there must be hundreds if not more of Diplacus australis | San Diego monkeyflower in the area, most of them in bloom.
We took the shortcut like last time and skipped the PCT.
The bloom didn't increase from our visit 3 weeks ago, this is as high as it gets this season.
A lot of Penstemon spectabilis spectabilis | Showy penstemon completely aborted the attempt to bloom.
The best display: Field of Erysimum capitatum capitatum | Western wallflower, mostly on private land.
We wanted to see some plants close to the peak.
Our route seemed to be the most scenic and still easy way to get there.
Bloom is still low, but we wanted to see early bloomers. That turned out OK adding many new plants to our list, like Viola lobata lobata | Moose horn violet and Euphorbia lurida | Woodland spurge.
The target was to find Ribes roezlii roezlii | Sierra gooseberry in bloom and that turned out perfectly.
An unexpected bonus was finding a Cornus nuttallii | Pacific dogwood in bloom close to the peak.
We did this hike with a detour to examine the rocks to the north of the Mason Valley Truck Road.
This was a good choice as we found many interesting plants and a colony of Dudleya abramsii abramsii | Abrams' dudleya and Dudleya pulverulenta | California chalk dudleya.
This might be the best display of Penstemon centranthifolius | Scarlet bugler and Castilleja foliolosa | Woolly Indian paintbrush that we've ever seen.
Great fields of Lasthenia gracilis | Common goldfields and Leptosiphon parviflorus | Common linanthus.
The goal of the hike was to find Fremontodendron californicum | California flannelbush in bloom, last time we were too late, right now no bloom.
Bloom like in a lot of places is later this year.
Bloom: Generally below average, some above average.
Exactly one month after our previous visit, the bloom for the first half hour is mostly gone.
After that fields of Allium fimbriatum fimbriatum | Fringed onion and Calochortus splendens | Splendid mariposa lily.
In a drainage, from a spring > 100 Allium marvinii, a lot at the end of bloom and some in fruit.
Even more blooming Argemone munita | Prickly poppy.
Several blooming Malacothamnus enigmaticus | Enigmatic bushmallow and a lot of germination that might be the same genus.
Bloom is divers, surprisingly Funastrum cynanchoides hartwegii | Climbing milkweed has started a second bloom this season.
It's cold with 55 degrees, with at time a strong wind and little bit of rain.
Close to the start the day was already made, finding a new spot for Lastarriaea coriacea | Leather spineflower, probably more common than we thought.
It's time for Chorizanthe fimbriata laciniata | Fringed spineflower, blooming plants along the entire loop.
Many field of battered and mostly small Diplacus fremontii | Fremont's monkeyflower in the washes.
A high number of Diplacus brevipes | Wide throated yellow monkeyflower in the washes.
Dudleya saxosa aloides | Desert dudleya are at the start of the bloom, some are already in bloom
The best display on the loop, are the hills of Eriophyllum confertiflorum confertiflorum | Golden yarrow.
Last time we got distracted and went far off course.
Bloom dropped and grass is growing higher and other non native plants are getting bigger.
A couple of big blooming Lupinus excubitus medius | Mountain Springs bush lupine.
Finally Nemacladus pinnatifidus | Comb leaved nemacladus again a plant we've found in several washes, but not this year. Now we found 50+
Really good blooming Eriodictyon trichocalyx lanatum | Smoothleaf yerba santa.
The link shows most of the plants we've found blooming.
After noticing the iNaturalist posting of Linanthus pungens | Granite prickly phlox, not a rare plant, but it's not common in this area.
The predictions are temperatures high 90+ at our destination, so we started early at around 8 am.
It's already warm, just over 70 degrees, bloom is low, but the perennials are doing better than almost anywhere else.
The Krameria bicolor | White rhatany are as good as they get, many in full bloom.
Large fields of Stephanomeria exigua | Slender wreathplant.
The Fouquieria splendens splendens | Ocotillo are exceptionally happy this year and not only here.
Bloom picks up soon as we near the hill we are about to climb.
Tons of very large and blooming Nemacladus rubescens | Desert threadplant, very easy to see with it's distinct flower.
It's close to the end of bloom for Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus sphaerocephalus | Desert goldenhead.
Close to the climb, the annuals are actually not bad, with large patches of Eriophyllum wallacei rubellum | White Wallace's woolly daisy, mostly following the drainages.
The goal was to find Linanthus pungens | Granite prickly phlox in bloom, so we checked a lot of boulders, the domain of countless Diplacus aridus | Low bush monkeyflower in full bloom.
And finally a number of somewhat blooming Linanthus pungens | Granite prickly phlox, a night bloomer, so 11 am at a warm day at the end of their bloom.
Along our route we found dozens of plants, now much much easier to ID, with flowers.
Bloom is far away from a good bloom, like 2019, we made an one hour detour to find Linanthus maculatus emaculatus | Jacumba Mountains linanthus and they were there, just at the end of bloom.
April/16/2022 Warner Springs - California - PCT Loop
On a Saturday, it was extremely busy towards Eagle Rock, luckily not our destination.
Bloom is present on the first stretch of the hike, up to Warner Springs.
Nice fields of Collinsia concolor | Chinese houses and Uropappus lindleyi | Silver puffs.
Fields of huge Amsinckia intermedia | Common fiddleneck.
After the Chapel, bloom gets lower and lower and drops to almost zero along the PCT.
We had a preplanned follow up hike, until we spotted fields of Malacothrix californica | California dandelion.
Now we just followed the best bloom, that was actually out of the drainages.
We just missed most of the great carpets of Lasthenia gracilis | Common goldfields, it's still good higher up in the hills.
Fields of Eschscholzia californica | California poppy mixed with Platystemon californicus | Creamcups.
Dotted with a good number of Delphinium parishii subglobosum | Intermediate larkspur.
Most surprising the never ending fields of Senecio californicus | California groundsel, don't think we've ever seen such a high number of plants.
Two kind of Nemacladus, the first Nemacladus ramosissimus , Smallflower threadplant of the year.
Good fields of Collinsia concolor , Chinese houses.
All in all an exploding bloom, here the rain timing was obviously good this season.
It's cold, so I took a route along Granite Mountain to map the most northern Cylindropuntia fosbergii | Mason valley cholla along the mountain and even found one in bloom.
Bloom is surprisingly good along the mountain,
I even ran into Herissantia crispa | Bladdermallow far from a known population.
Funastrum cynanchoides hartwegii | Climbing milkweed have a second bloom cycle this season.
A high number of Nemacladus rubescens | Desert threadplant and the less visible Nemacladus longiflorus breviflorus | Short flowered Long flowered Threadplant.
Plants doing fine and a lot are much larger than usual, like Emmenanthe penduliflora penduliflora | Whispering bells.
As to be expected, fire followers, like Phacelia brachyloba | Short lobe phacelia and Malacothamnus densiflorus | Many flowered bushmallow.
Like in a lot of other places it's time for Echinocereus engelmannii engelmannii | Engelmann's hedgehog to bloom.
There still is a lot of germination, not sure what will happen in the a month.
It's snake season, we ran into at least 3 snakes on this loop, too many for our taste.
The bad: Tons of Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard covering some of the hillsides.
April/11/2022 Butler Canyon - Hidden Spring - Rockhouse Canyon
It's very windy today, this seems to be a good place to be. That turned out to be mostly correct, we had almost no wind in Butler Canyon.
Rockhouse Canyon is very dry, Butler Canyon is slightly better.
The highlights, the Fouquieria splendens splendens | Ocotillo bloom is very good and the Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus is good.
We found one of best blooming Echinocereus engelmannii engelmannii | Engelmann's hedgehog we've seen in a while.
Even when it's this dry, we still found several blooming Nemacladus rubescens | Desert threadplant.
Bloom: Surprisingly divers with over 60 different plants in bloom, but the numbers are very low.
The bloom is still surprisingly good, but often only close to the washes.
In general bloom: Ericameria linearifolia | Narrow leaf goldenbush.
Starting to bloom: Keckiella antirrhinoides microphylla | Little leaf chaparral beard tongue, Dudleya saxosa aloides | Desert dudleya, Eriophyllum confertiflorum confertiflorum | Golden yarrow and Eriastrum eremicum eremicum | Desert woolly star.
Probably past peak: the fields of Diplacus fremontii | Fremont's monkeyflower and Layia glandulosa | White tidy tips.
Still doing fine: Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush and Bahiopsis parishii | Parish's goldeneye.
The best bloomer, large fields of Chaenactis fremontii | Fremont pincushion.
A surprise, the single Dendromecon rigida | Bush poppy is still in bloom, but close to the end.
Finally our fourth Nemacladus, of the year, Nemacladus sigmoideus | Sigmoid threadplant.
April/08/2022 Santa Ysabel Loop - Coast to Crest Trail
After seeing the plants Tom, Don and Jim posted, we wanted to see Phacelia parryi | Parry's Phaceli, the most common mistaken plant on iNaturalist.
The plants is very different, so no mistake possible.
Tom Chester reported only one blooming plant, now >99, our first plants at 9:20 am very fresh, on our return around 12:27 pm the flowers looked darker and far from fresh.
There are vast fields of non-native Erodium botrys | Long beak filaree along the entire route.
For the rest non natives are low in abundance.
We were too early for a full bloom of Sisyrinchium bellum , Blue eyed grass, but half way our trip the bloom got a lot better.
Paeonia californica | California peony are in abundance, still in bloom at higher elevations.
As expected we added a good number of plants we've never seen before.
We went to the other trailhead a bit further along the 79 to catch Viola pedunculata | California golden violet in bloom.
Along the San Ysabel creek we finally found Cerastium glomeratum | Mouse ear chickweed in bloom and in abundance.
We were trying to find them in bloom in Warner Springs, so far without much luck.
Now we have to go back to check out all the germination we spotted, it should get a lot more interesting.
Bloom: Good, should be better in a couple of weeks.
This must be one of the best displays of Dendromecon rigida | Bush poppy, most plants seem to bloom at the same time. Some with an unusually good bloom.
We counted hundreds of plant dotted on the hillsides.
Many nice blooming Dipterostemon capitatus capitatus | Blue dicks along our path.
Some Trichostema parishii | Parish's bluecurls, Lathyrus vestitus alefeldii | San Diego pea.
Two blueish blooming Ceanothus: Ceanothus oliganthus orcuttii | Hairy ceanothus and Ceanothus leucodermis | Chaparral whitethorn.
The plant with the most smell, not entirely pleasant: Cercocarpus betuloides betuloides | Birch leaf mountain mahogany.
At the point the road reaches the canyon, there is plenty of water to form a swampy area.
Difficult to cross even without the many Toxicodendron diversilobum | Poison oak.
If fact this might be the densest concentration and the tallest shrubs of Toxicodendron diversilobum | Poison oak.
Almost stepping on a Pituophis catenifer | Gopher Snake, the first reaction is stepping back fast.
We went around the snake along a drainage following a very faint road. The drainage with a steel cable became very steep and slippery and ends at the open Golden Sugar Mine.
Off course infested with Toxicodendron diversilobum | Poison oak, so careful not to catch a branch to hold back the slippery descend.
Further into the canyon Toxicodendron diversilobum | Poison oak dropped to zero.
A lot of Dudleya pulverulenta | California chalk dudleya and Dudleya saxosa aloides | Desert dudleya, going into bloom by the end of April, early May.
On our way back nice blooming Boechera californica | California rockcress and some fields of Eschscholzia californica | California poppy.
Along the road you find one of the best populations of Castilleja foliolosa | Woolly Indian paintbrush.
Bloom: Average, a lot of perennials, low on annuals.
A follow up from our March 6 hike.
Not that there was much to follow up, most of the follow up plants simply vanished. There are simply too many hungry rodents, rabbits and sheep around.
Bloom is very low in Bitter Creek proper.
That changes as soon as we leave the main canyon.
An overwhelming number of blooming Diplacus brevipes | Wide throated yellow monkeyflower, by the hundreds, following the wash.
The real surprise finding Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower and Diplacus fremontii | Fremont's monkeyflower on the same loop.
The smell of Salvia apiana | White sage is very strong, reaching over a hundred meters.
The most abundant bloomer Chaenactis fremontii | Fremont's pincushion, in large flower fields.
Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush is now at peak bloom, with unusual large flowers, trying to fool us into being Encelia actoni.
Bloom: Good, one of the better blooms we've seen on this loop.
On our last visit to the area, bloom was exceptional, we wanted to check an area we missed.
It takes 1/2 an hour to get to the good part and it's well worth it.
All of the sudden the same plants go from small to huge.
Good fields of Malacothrix glabrata | Desert dandelion, Leptosiphon lemmonii |, Lemmon's linanthus and Eriophyllum wallacei wallacei | Wallace's woolly daisy in the first part.
Getting much better and larger as we cross the fire boundary.
We found the rare Harpagonella palmeri a couple of weeks ago at a known location. Tiny unhappy, fruiting plants.
Here we stumbled upon a huge population, whole fields of happy green often blooming plants, in the hundreds.
Another great find a large really white Euphorbia melanadenia | Red gland spurge.
A loop up one Whale Peak trail head and down on another and visiting a known Eriogonum apiculatum | San Jacinto Wild Buckwheat location.
We found several small Eriogonum apiculatum with very distinct leaves.
Another reason for the loop was checking on seedlings of Boechera Rockcress, we didn't find those, but we did find a number of Boechera xylopoda | Slender and beautiful rockcress in bloom.
Bloom: Low, germination is good is some places and the soil is wet.
Just after the "rain" and very windy.
We seemed to find the only spot the sun wasn't shining, a persistent cloud blocked the canyon.
Luckily the cloud was gone by the time we entered the canyon.
Plants are at the end of bloom, but that also means they are bigger.
Many big Nemacladus glanduliferus | Glandular threadplant and mature Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower.
Bloom got better higher up in the canyon.
March/27/2022 San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area Cigarette Hills South
Warning: Access from the 78 is not permitted.
We are recording plants in the area and taking plant vouchers.
Carrying a field plant press (to collect plants), is hard work and it limited our hike to just over 3 mile in 4 hours.
There are still some nice fields of Lasthenia gracilis | Common Goldfields.
Pleased to see > 100 Prunus fasciculata fasciculata, most of them in bloom.
Really surprising to see so many (5) Mammillaria tetrancistra | Common Fishhook Cactus on one trip, this must be our record.
And not a single Mammillaria dioica dioica, Fishhook on our trip.
Our best find, many Nemacladus breviflorus blooming and lots of germinating plants smaller than a grain of sand.
The bad there are many no trespassing signs and a fence around the San Felipe Wildlife Area. We entered with a permit.
There are countless Solanum parishii | Parish's purple nightshade, one more beautiful than the other.
We hit the Thamnosma montana | Turpentine broom at about the right spot to find many in bloom.
Caulanthus simulans | Payson's jewelflower is one of our focus plants this season and here they are plentiful.
Surprisingly, the most common, highly visible blooming plant is Mentzelia veatchiana | Veatch's blazing star, along the Wilson Trail and almost all the way down to the parking.
The Wilson Trail is spotty with Platystemon californicus | Creamcup, Phacelia distans , Common phacelia and Layia glandulosa | White tidy tips.
Ericameria linearifolia , Narrow leaf goldenbush already in bloom, should get better at higher elevations, like the Wilson Trail.
Nolina parryi | Parry's nolina is an unusual plant on the rabbits menu, but when they can get to the leaves they will.
Our goal was to find Arctostaphylos parryana desertica | Desert manzanita in bloom.
Tom Chester pointed them out last year, this was the time to check them out.
By the end of last year we found nascent inflorescence on a lot of plants, so there should be bloom.
The timing was not bad we found several Arctostaphylos parryana desertica in bloom, YES.
We noticed 3 native pollinators in action.
Bloom is still very low, but might improve if we get a bit of rain.
On our way back the Montezuma road was close, so we took the scenic route, following the Old Wilson road down Grapevine Canyon.
The road is in excellent condition, bloom started as we entered the State Park.
We even found our first blooming Diplacus fremontii of the year.
We wanted to explore the May 2021 fire from the south.
Deviating from our normal route to explore a drainage to the north.
A big surprise the bloom is actual as good as it gets, plants as big as they get.
Too many to count, really big Phacelia minor | Wild canterbury bells and Emmenanthe penduliflora penduliflora | Whispering bells.
Large fields of Lasthenia gracilis | Common goldfields (past peak), Amsinckia intermedia | Common fiddleneck and Phacelia distans | Common phacelia the latter mostly concentrated around shrubs.
The number of germinated Argemone munita | Prickly poppy must be in the thousands the hillside is covered by A. munita germination of all sizes.
One of the goals, we almost forgot by the huge number of plants, were (probably) Allium amplectens | Narrow leaf onion, we've seen the remains and now several in good bloom, perfect timing.
An as icing on the cake, good fields of Eschscholzia californica | California poppy.
From observation, most of the bloom seems to be caused by water brought in by fire fighters and the fire itself.
Just outside the fire zone, bloom dropped to it's normal not too bad individually blooming and stressed plants.
Our repeat hike, bloom has gone up considerably.
Nice fields of Linanthus dianthiflorus | Ground pink and Nemophila menziesii menziesii | Baby blue eyes.
Thousands of Gilia, mostly Gilia diegensis | Coastal gilia.
Fields of Amsinckia intermedia | Common fiddleneck and large fields of Camissoniopsis bistorta | Southern suncup.
South of the 79, along the creek fields of Lasthenia gracilis | Common goldfields.
March/21/2022 Arroyo Salado North Fork Mile 37.2 & 37.4
There is a stretch of the badlands that's a little bit better between the Calcite Mine and Smoketree Wash.
We explored 2 and combined 2 hikes into one.
Bloom is low, but the perennials look happy.
Some Tiquilia palmeri | Palmer's crinklemat are in full bloom.
The scenery is among the best in the area.
A return to an area with bloom and germination in Feb/24/2022.
Bloom is as expected, considerably better than on our previous visit, with some fields of Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy and Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower.
We were pleased to see Phacelia affinis | Limestone phacelia in good numbers, we haven't seen them on this loop before.
Bloom is far from spectacular, but better than in most places.
Bloom: about 70 different plants, the highest we've seen this year.
Fish Creek is dry, but there is germination and some nice plants between Diablo Drop off exit <-> Sandstone Canyon.
That area was our goal, checking on Cryptantha maritima | Guadalupe cryptantha, that now has a restored variation.
Our hike was in an unnamed wash, just click on the link below, to see most of the plants in bloom.
Germination was spotty and a lot of good blooming Fouquieria splendens splendens | Ocotillo.
Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus are blooming but the amount of annuals is low, with the exception of Amsinckia intermedia | Common fiddleneck.
Many or the Lycium andersonii | Anderson's desert thorn are still in bloom, most likely way past peak bloom.
The Dudleya arizonica | Arizona chalk dudleya are large in this canyon, i can imagine some confuse them with Dudleya pulverulenta.
A lot of Dudleya are going to bloom this season, most likely
This time some quality time to follow the range of Cylindropuntia fosbergii | Mason valley cholla that are way above the canyon and strange enough live on top of the ridge.
There are also some amazingly big Cylindropuntia bigelovii, hard to believe these are the same, as the small plants that grow around Borrego Springs.
Here Cylindropuntia fosbergii, Cylindropuntia ganderi ganderi and Cylindropuntia bigelovii look closely related.
Bloom is low, despite the recent rain this might not improve.
The goal was to find baby plants and we found plenty.
Bloom is not bad, but it's still early for peak bloom that should be a lot better.
There are plenty of Phacelia minor | Wild canterbury bells, Amsinckia | Fiddleneck and some poppies, most still going to bloom.
A lot of big Desert tobacco | Nicotiana obtusifolia.
Castilleja foliolosa | Woolly Indian paintbrush are at their early bloom.
One big blooming Dendromecon rigida | Bush poppy, grown considerably since 2016.
Last but not least a huge amount of Dudleya saxosa aloides | Desert dudleya on this loop, bloom in a couple of weeks.
Bloom is low, but should go above average in April.
Perennials look bad, some bloom and germination at the start of the hike.
After 3/4 of a mile things start to improve, especially on the south side.
Bloom and germination drops down in Hellhole Canyon proper, to very low.
It is as if the wind concentrated most of the rain, just below (east) Hellhole Canyon proper.
Not that it's totally bad, there are some flowers after all.
We noticed Carlowrightia arizonica | Arizona carlowrightia observations in iNaturalist, plants we've not seen before.
It turned out a bit more than the few we expected, we counted about 100 and probably missed some.
It seems to be an extension of the Flatcat Canyon population.
Carlowrightia arizonica again looks different, mostly not grazed an exception from the rule, they are one of the most grazed plants in the Anza-Borrego Desert.
Bloom is average and below average in Hellhole Canyon proper.
This is one of the most scenic areas in Fish Creek.
Bloom is low but but different and our first Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower of the year.
Surprisingly the perennials are much greener than the bleak looking plants west of the Visitor Center.
Hundred plus of blooming Cryptantha holoptera | Winged cryptantha and some nice flowering Chylismia cardiophylla cardiophylla | Heart leaf suncup.
This is home to Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster with hundreds of plants along the loop, some flowering nicely.
Bloom is a far cry from the 2019 bloom, but still there are flowers, a bit better up Flatcat Canyon and not so good in lower part of Hellhole Canyon.
Most perennials still look summer dry, this might change as the ground is wet.
Germination mostly out, or just out of the washes.
Bloom and green is dominated by Erodium cicutarium | Red stem filaree.
Mainly out of the wash scattered Malacothrix glabrata | Desert dandelion and Chaenactis fremontii | Fremont's pincushion.
Some patches of Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower and Eschscholzia | Poppy.
The lower part of Flatcat Canyon is also home to one of the lowest elevation Dipterostemon capitatus capitatus | Blue dicks.
Germination is very good in the forks of Bittercreek proper. Bloom will be much better very soon.
A huge amount of Lycium andersonii | Anderson's desert thorn lining the canyon.
Dudleya saxosa aloides | Desert dudleya lining the shadow side of the canyon, some preparing for bloom.
Some of the pleasant smelling Ziziphus parryi parryi | Lotebush are still in bloom.
Phacelia minor | Wild canterbury bells everywhere, some already in bloom.
Eschscholzia minutiflora | Small flowered poppy everywhere, but too tiny for a flower show.
Last but least the best bloomer Erodium cicutarium | Red stem filaree, an invasive non native.
Don't rush yet, prime (good) bloom should be early to mid April.
It took us a bit longer than usual to complete the loop a long 5+ hours.
Bloom is certainly not bad, with many Chaenactis fremontii | Fremont's pincushion, Eschscholzia | Poppy, Phacelia distans | Common phacelia and Rafinesquia neomexicana | Desert chicory.
Some Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower and Malacothrix glabrata | Desert dandelion.
And even our first Mentzelia involucrata | Sand blazing star of the year.
Not so good: Some highly invasive Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard plants.
Far worse: Several spots with the highly invasive Volutaria tubuliflora | Knapweed.
We visited this area October/2/2021 and the effect of the summer rain and fire are still very good.
This by far the best display we've seen this season.
The best, most of the plants are just maturing, without bloom. Waiting for the peak bloom by the end of March and far into April.
Fields and hill sides covered with larger Amsinckia intermedia | Common fiddleneck.
A large number of blooming Ziziphus parryi parryi | Lotebush close to end of bloom and still smelling fine.
Vast germination of Emmenanthe penduliflora penduliflora | Whispering bells and some in bloom.
Nice to see blooming male and female Simmondsia chinensis | Jojoba.
A big surprise, fields of Eschscholzia californica | California poppy.
Best of all no native plants are mostly absent along the mountain. Unfortunately enough closer to the dirt road.
A hike in what is left of the snow, finding Arctostaphylos in bloom.
Arctostaphylos pungens , Mexican manzanita are close to the end of bloom, but we still found some in bloom.
The best bloomer right now is Erodium cicutarium , Red stem filaree.
At the last minute we decided to do a loop hike along the old California Riding and Hiking trail.
In town the trail with excellent markers, just vanished, so we took a shortcut along the 79.
We were very pleased with a blooming Arctostaphylos pungens | Mexican manzanita, surrounded by a big cloud of buzzing insects.
A lot of insects accessed the flower at the side, by boring into the flower.
A real surprise was finding a couple of blooming Linanthus dianthiflorus | Ground pink.
We marked a couple of baby plants to follow up in a couple of weeks.
Bloom as expected, low, the native germination is good, in parts of the loop.
In others it's mostly green by non natives.
Coyote canyon is very dry, it gets slightly better after First Crossing.
A lot of pooling water at Second Crossing, some blooming Fouquieria splendens splendens | Ocotillo and once in a while an annual.
This hike goes up a small rocky wash close to Third Crossing.
Along the creek a number of Peritoma arborea angustata | Bladderpod bush in full bloom.
Blooming good: Phacelia distans | Common phacelia, Ditaxis lanceolata | Narrow leaf ditaxis, Justicia californica | Chuparosa, Encelia farinosa farinosa/phenicodonta, Brittlebush and Mammillaria dioica dioica , Fishhook.
The wider return wash is better with some germination and some bloom, look at the pictures in the hike link.
Eschscholzia | poppy are blooming but sparsely following the wash.
Time to visit the Cactus area in Bisnaga Wash.
Mammillaria dioica dioica | Fishhook are in full bloom and Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus are starting to bloom.
Justicia californica | Chuparosa is in good bloom and even the yellow Justicia californica | Chuparosa we found in 2014 is in bloom.
Our goal was to revisit the two small Krameria plants we found by the end of 2021.
But with no meaningful rain, they looked just the same as in our previous visit.
Finding another germinated Krameria in another wash, confirms what we see in the field, the Krameria produce offspring, probably just enough to sustain the population.
This time we took a different route that we last visited in 2015, long overdue.
As expected things are dry, but most plants look alive.
Germination is zero, except for the Krameria, but it's difficult to tell when they germinated, if they have persistent cotyledons.
And a single big Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy, that germinated a long time ago.
Several of the over one hundred Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster are in bloom.
As our expectations were low, the good number and the variation of germinating plants took us by surprise.
On the eastern part of the loop the germination is considerably lower.
The germination likely originated from the Dec 24 rain.
And we found most likely, our first 3 young Simmondsia chinensis | Jojoba.
As well as our first young Hibiscus denudatus | Rock hibiscus.
Justicia californica | Chuparosa is the most consistent bloomer in the area.
Yes our first blooming Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus of the year.
During the hike we had a good view of the snow-covered mountains, snow that used to be pretty common this time of year, was mostly absent the last couple of years.
The first wash is a rather narrow sand/mud-stone wash with a touch of the badlands.
Extra shade and sand/mud-stone a perfect place for plants.
Most of the Xylorhiza orcuttii / Orcutt's woody aster are in bloom.
Several Encelia farinosa X frutescens / Hybrid brittlebush, some in the middle, some closer to Encelia farinosa farinosa / Brittlebush.
The first wash is a sand/mud-stone wash, home to plenty of Asclepias albicans / White stemmed milkweed, the sandy diablo wash is home to Asclepias subulata / Rush milkweed.
On our way back we found a strange plant with very small flowers that might be a Asclepias albicans × subulata.
In the first wash there is plenty of germination and several blooming Aliciella latifolia latifolia / Broad leaf gilia and Chylismia claviformis peirsonii / Brown eyed primrose.
A single blooming Geraea canescens / Desert sunflower and Eremothera boothii condensata , Woody bottlewasher.
One of the goals, to revised the Pilostyles thurberi / Thurber's pilostyles we found blooming a couple of years ago.
The host plant is now dead, but we found several other host plants with fresh Pilostyles thurberi / Thurber's pilostyles, blooming very soon.
Again a single Astragalus insularis harwoodii / Harwood's milkvetch.
We were pleasantly surprised with the amount of bloom is the badland washes.
The washes are far from uniform, in between you find an oasis, were some plants are happy enough.
In one of the forks, we never checked before (there are simply too many of them), were 17 Xylorhiza orcuttii / Orcutt's woody aster in bloom, very happy in sand/mud-stone.
A highly tolerant plant is Astragalus crotalariae / Salton milkvetch, living were no one else wants to grow. We found many happy plants and one in bloom.
A very common plant that is starting it's bloom Atriplex hymenelytra / Desert holly, with the most visible blooming male plants.
A couple of years ago the bloom must have been very good, according to the many skeleton plants.
We found one reminder that this was once a military practice area. Certainly not all of the ammunition has been removed, like the one we found, once buried in the sand.
Bloom: Low, 13 different plants,good for the area.
December/17/2021 Bighorn Canyon - Blue Spring - Nolina Canyon Loop
This is a great loop with or without blooming plants.
The Ericameria paniculata Blackbanded rabbitbrush in Bighorn Canyon must have been in a good bloom, compared to almost absent in Nolina Canyon.
Pinyon wash and the bottom of Bighorn Canyon, a huge number of plants is host to Cuscuta californica papillosa , Chaparral dodder.
Bighorn Canyon is home to at least 50, clear Brickellia desertorum / Desert brickellbush.
Bighorn Canyon has some germination and the bloom is a bit better.
Down the too well traveled Nolina Canyon, many footprints make the wash softer. A huge contrast to Bighorn Canyon with a few footprints.
Here most of the Olneya tesota / Ironwood are struggling, most are host to Phoradendron californicum , Desert mistletoe.
Here you find many Ferocactus cylindraceus / California barrel cactus growing on dead mother plants.
A high number seem to be eaten at the bottom of the plants.
There sure are some desperately hungry Hare or Sheep out here.
Overall the population looks strong.
Bloom is at its end, the recent about 0.02 Inch rain will not change much.
Still we picked up way more flowering plants than expected in this dry looking area.
Bloom: Low, we picked up 22 different plants in bloom, often just a single plant.
We hiked clockwise and over the saddle we deviated from the route, going down the waterfalls.
Next taking a right turn over a saddle and down another wash to complete our loop.
This way we wouldn't duplicate Tom Chesters postings from 12/10.
The clockwise wash has one of the best drainages from Yaqui Ridge. This turned out to be a good guess, the bloom is good in the wash, but absent just outside the wash.
Most of the Condea emoryi / Desert lavender are in bloom even a couple of blooming Trixis californica californica / California trixis.
Many blooming Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry along the wash.
Also a good place to find Ayenia compacta / California ayenia in bloom. When in fruit and looking happy, it's often blooming, but the flowers are easy to overlook.
We knew we would encounter a couple of Scutellaria mexicana / Paperbag bush;Mexican bladder sage and yes a couple of them still in good bloom.
This is also the place to find many Euphorbia arizonica / Arizona spurge.
Ferocactus cylindraceus , California barrel cactus are among the best surviving plants in the desert.
We came across one Ferocactus cylindraceus that cloned itself into 11 new plants, forming a circle on top of the dead mother plant.
One of the reasons might be sheep, we found many Ferocactus cylindraceus eaten beyond what they can handle.
Bloom: Not bad, probably around 20 different plants, good for the time of year.
We wanted an easy hike, with some bloom.
On the southern part of the hike, the bloom was very low, but picking up in the northern part, with germination and blooming plants.
There are a lot of Asclepias subulata , Rush milkweed on this hike and most were at the end of bloom.
A surprising number of Krameria bicolor , White rhatany still in bloom.
Cuscuta psorothamnensis / Indigo bush dodder is almost always found on Psorothamnus schottii / Indigo bush, here we found some on Psorothamnus spinosus / Smoketree.
A patch of good blooming Abronia villosa villosa , Desert sand verbena.
Plenty of Cryptantha angustifolia , Narrow leaf cryptantha.
Some germinating Geraea canescens , Desert sunflower and one in bloom.
A lot of the Hesperocallis undulata , Desert lily are going dormant again, a bit of rain might change their mind.
A couple of Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster blooming as good as it gets.
If the area gets a bit more rain, we might get a good spring bloom here.
On our last hike we looked at these nice sandy washes and now it't time to check them out.
Bloom is good with many plants in bloom.
Like: Tiquilia palmeri / Palmer's crinklemat, some Psorothamnus schottii / Indigo bush, at the end of bloom Krameria bicolor / White rhatany, good blooming Cuscuta californica papillosa / Chaparral dodder.
We were off course alert to find Xylorhiza orcuttii / Orcutt's woody aster, and here they are a new colony with some in bloom.
This is also the most westerly of the Borrego Badlands colony.
Not common in the area:
A large and very happy Adenophyllum porophylloides / San Felipe dogweed.
One happy Justicia californica / Chuparosa.
A rare find, what must be a good population of Sphaeralcea angustifolia / Narrow leaf globemallow.
And a potential location for Lepidium flavum felipense / Blair Valley pepper-grass.
Cuscuta californica papillosa , Chaparral dodder isn't picky, but Cylindropuntia ramosissima / Diamond cholla is an odd host.
A hike in a couple of washes we've never hiked before.
Great narrow winding washes, a lot of non native plants closer to the Ant Hills.
Plant variety is low right now and about half of them is in bloom.
We needed a flower booster. The June Wash area is a sure bet.
June Wash is still good, but the lack of recent water and high temperatures is showing.
Germination is present in the June Wash, better in some of the other washes we hiked and totally absent in others.
Some Abronia villosa villosa , Desert sand verbena in bloom.
Krameria is at it last run, with some blooming plants.
Both Encelia farinosa farinosa , Brittlebush and Encelia frutescens frutescens , Button brittlebush are in bloom in the same area.
We were on the lookout for hybrids and sure found a perfect Encelia farinosa X frutescens , Hybrid brittlebush.
Chylismia claviformis peirsonii , Brown eyed primrose are doing fine and we found one Eremothera boothii condensata , Woody bottlewasher in bloom.
A lot of good blooming Psorothamnus schottii , Indigo bush.
December/03/2021 Johnson Canyon - PCT - California - Loop
Tom Chester found Ericameria nauseosa var. oreophila along the Lost Valley Road, so we had to check them out.
We first wanted to hike Collins benchmark, but the road is barred with a not entry sign for any purpose.
So we ended up in Johnson Canyon, accidentally hiking up an old forest road, along a canyon.
This is a nice forest area, with a good diversity.
Noticing we got closer and closer to one of our Manzanita points along the PCT, we followed the more and more obscured forest road.
A surprise to find such happy Keckiella ternata ternata , Whorled leaf penstemon.
Finally making it to the PCT.
The PCT always seem to take the longest route from A to B, this part took us much longer than expected.
Luckily the California Hiking and Horse Riding trail on the way back was more direct.
This sure is an interesting area to explore when it's less dry.
On our PCT hike we noticed the California Riding and Hiking trail, with the Johnson Canyon on the other side.
We didn't get as far, by car as initially expected, private property is blocking access to BLM and Cleveland National Forest.
We've not done this loop for 5 1/2 years.
As expected bloom is low, but you always pick up something in a longer 4 hour hike.
By the hundreds, Keckiella antirrhinoides microphylla , Little leaf chaparral beard tongue, not sure if we've ever seen so many on a hike.
The hike involves a rather steep climb at the end of the first canyon (about half way) and a field of Adenostoma fasciculatum, chamise. Luckily the chamise didn't grow too dense.
A revisit is certainly warranted, but it will probably never be as good as after the fire.
We wanted to check out the sand dunes north of Clark Dry Lake.
No germination at all, not even Brassica tournefortii , Sahara mustard;Asian mustard.
Except for some blooming Ditaxis neomexicana , New Mexico ditaxis close to the road, that germinated months ago.
We took pictures of ever single Lycium brevipes brevipes , Common desert thorn, the flower variation is higher than we liked.
This shows how difficult it is to ID Lycium from a single flower picture.
What we noticed: Flowers are smaller and the tube is longer than the average Lycium brevipes brevipes we find.
The frequent bloomer, hundreds of Larrea tridentata , Creosote bush with sometimes a good bloom.
Bloom is almost not existing, except for some Justicia californica , Chuparosa with a few flowers.
Some Fouquieria splendens splendens , Ocotillo are in bud and a sparse flower.
This area is live and die for Ferocactus cylindraceus , California barrel cactus, in a death struggle plants produce up to 5 clones, sometimes as branches, or at the bottom of the (almost) death mother plant.
Once in a while the mother Ferocactus cylindraceus does not die and now lives along it's clones.
We added many of these in the iNaturalist observations below.
Our goal, to widen the range of Arctostaphylos parryana desertica.
There is no detectable variation in all the Arctostaphylos parryana desertica we checked. We checked some fruit, from the plants, and we were unable to split any by hand.
We noticed that the young leaves were bright green, on the contrary to Arctostaphylos glandulosa were we didn't see color difference between younger and older leaves.
Another goal, to check the Brickellia.
They all turned out to be good Brickellia californica , California brickellbush.
To separate them from Brickellia desertorum: Find the largest leaves down the main stems, the leaves need to be at least 1/2 way down the main stem.
If you only find leaves (anywhere on the plant) that fit Brickellia desertorum and no leaves on the lower 1/2 of the main stem, check the bristles (fruit or flower) , if there are no flowers or fruit, the plant is inconclusive.
We didn't hike all the way to the peak, as we spend too much time checking Manzanita.
Bloom: Very low, but better than a couple of weeks ago.
The goal was to check Arctostaphylos glandulosa to find Arctostaphylos glandulosa adamsii and Arctostaphylos glandulosa glandulosa.
It seems that both are sticky, making the ID tricky as both attract dust, Arctostaphylos glandulosa adamsii might look partly glandular because of the dust.
Leaf color is some indication, but far from conclusive.
The good Arctostaphylos glandulosa fruit can be split by finger pressure. Ruling out Arctostaphylos parryana desertica.
We found many Keckiella ternata ternata , Whorled leaf penstemon, they seem to favor rocks and rabbits or deer favor them as many are grazed.
This is home to Ericameria cuneata macrocephala , Laguna mountains goldenbush, that maybe a month ago, must have bloomed spectacular.
November/20/2021 Culp Valley Springs to Jasper Trail loop
This is always an interesting hike up to the Jasper Trail.
We forgot how big the Ericameria cuneata spathulata , Wide leaf rock goldenbush are out here, living in boulders, most must have survived the fire.
Real surprising, the many Golden ear drops, Ehrendorferia chrysantha that are still alive and well, with some in bloom.
The hundreds of Malacothamnus enigmaticus , Enigmatic bushmallow are almost completely gone.
We wanted to explore a couple of washes close to Palm Spring.
There used to be 3 mature palms, now only 2 remain.
No sign of the rain that hit the June Wash area.
This is a nice scenic hike and we enjoy the scenery more with the lack of flowering plants.
We added a number of Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster to our list.
Our next stop: Little Devil Wash
An interesting wash, with a lot of skeleton plants, so maybe a revisit in prime time.
Again we added a good number of Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster to our list.
November/16/2021 Tarantula wash San Felipe creek loop
On our last trip we marked a drainage to explore.
Our trip took up a but further up the washes.
Many Larrea tridentata , Creosote bush are still in bloom.
Some good blooming Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed remain of the thousands that are done.
We wanted to widen the range of reported Euphorbia abramsiana , Abrams' spurge. Not too long ago we thought it to be a rare plant, but not here with plants all over in the thousands.
And not once a year but often found twice a year.
Driving the "road" further towards Fish Creek Mountains to see if we could find out the direction most of the water came from. We didn't find it.
The weird thing, there are no main washes. The Carrizo, Fish Creek washes spread out over a wide plain, leaving a large salt lake like area.
After a while they form gulleys and eventually wider and deeper washes ending in a Tamarix forest.
The San Felipe Wash and washes out of the Borrego Badlands are more defined but still cover a wide area.
November/13/2021 June - Arroyo Hueso and Tapiado Loop
We expected there would be some bloom in the area, but it's much better.
Most perennials, except trees and cacti are in bloom.
There is even wide spread germination, from rain and water flowing down the washes.
What's lacking is follow up rain, to make this a great spring bloom.
This is very very dry.
Along the long hike in rough terrain, we still found one blooming Diplacus longiflorus , Hairy bush monkeyflower, that found a sweet spot in between two boulders.
One Nolina parryi , Parry's nolina with a swinging flower stalk.
One blooming Monardella linoides linoides , Narrow leaf monardella in the shade.
Ericameria cuneata spathulata , Wide leaf rock goldenbush is one of the more reliable bloomers no matter what.
At Pena Spring a lot of blooming Erythranthe cardinalis , Scarlet monkeyflower.
A hike along Chariot Canyon (dry) creek.
Here we found the best (relative) bloom of the area.
Some odd bloom, like Monardella linoides linoides , Narrow leaf monardella and Rhus ovata , Sugar bush.
An certain area to revisit in spring.
November/9/2021 Tarantula wash San Felipe creek loop
We hiked a shorter alternative loop included in the GPX download.
The goal was to see if we could find Fort Mohave wild buckwheat, Eriogonum ordii skeletons (The plants might be something else, but key that way.). We did found skeletons but the results are inconclusive, like a maybe.
We did however find a good and interesting bloom.
At the start the sweet smell of blooming Tamarix aphylla , Athel tamarisk.
Not so pleasant smelling, from the blooming Suaeda nigra , Bush seepweed and Allenrolfea occidentalis , Iodine bush.
Surprisingly big blooming Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry.
Many blooming Palafoxia arida arida , Spanish needles.
Along our hike Euphorbia abramsiana , Abrams' spurge by the hundreds, this is certainly the hot spot with bloom often at the end of the year and by the end of Spring.
As always way WAY too many Tamarix ramosissima , Tamarisk often in bloom.
Bloom: Good for the time of year, about 15 different plants in good bloom. Warning many flowers are really tiny and spread over a large area.
November/8/2021 CRH - Soapstone Grade - Upper Green Valley - La Cima trail
As expected bloom is low, but the plant skeletons are interesting.
Some Epilobium canum latifolium , California fuchsia at the end of bloom.
A couple of blooming Eriogonum fasciculatum polifolium , California buckwheat, but mostly reddish.
One of the better bloomers is Eriogonum elongatum elongatum , Long stemmed buckwheat.
Our goal was to photograph Arctostaphylos glandulosa , Eastwood manzanita flower buds and find fruit.
This is as dry as it gets, bloom is almost not existing.
A lone blooming Agave deserti deserti , Desert agave.
Some Stephanomeria pauciflora , Wire lettuce and Ericameria cuneata spathulata , Wide leaf rock goldenbush.
A visit to a couple of prospects/mines.
One of the goals was to check Arctostaphylos / Manzanita.
Bloom is almost not existing.
Some interesting plants close to the car.
Here we found the tallest (> 2 Meter) Senecio flaccidus monoensis , Shrubby Butterweed;Mono groundsel we've ever seen.
Along the road we also found the prettiest Senecio flaccidus monoensis , Shrubby Butterweed;Mono groundsel we've ever seen, we didn't believe it when we noticed the yellow plant in the distance.
Bloom: Very low, slightly better in the wash close to the start.
A hike with a twist to follow up the skeletons of Linum lewisii lewisii , Prairie flax Don posted on iNaturalist and to check seeds of Petrorhagia dubia , Hairypink.
Instead of hiking along the road, we headed for the lake.
At the lake Typha latifolia , Broad leaf cattail dispersing seeds is a great sight.
Here we headed along the rocky creek and eventually meeting the road again.
We walked more or less along the road and at the crossing headed for the Fages Monument to check Petrorhagia dubia for seeds.
Picking up a lone blooming Trichostema parishii , Parish's bluecurls.
Here we also found many what looked like Gutierrezia californica , California matchweed, with a much larger looking flower.
Back cross country, hiking up Frasera parryi , Parry's green gentian hill.
Now following a drainage, completing the loop towards the lake.
YES, we found another Encelia Farinosa X frutescens , Hybrid brittlebush, that is now included in the Jepson Key.
Other interesting plants: Pilostyles thurberi , Thurber's pilostyles and a 4 flag Krameria bicolor , White rhatany.
We took a shortcut that shaved almost an hour of the otherwise long hike.
Here we found an exceptional display, of often fully blooming Krameria, a rare sight.
Bloom: Good for the time of year, many blooming plants in the wash.
October/30/2021 Blair Valley Mason Valley overlook loop
From the road this looked promising with some of the best Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed we've seen this season.
At the start of the hike things look good, but the fresh plants dropped considerably further on.
A persistent weak bloomer: Ericameria brachylepis , Boundary goldenbush.
The most interesting find a number of green/withe Euphorbia setiloba , Yuma spurge. We only see them once in a while this way.
Bloom low, some blooming plants closer to the road.
October/29/2021 Chico Ravine - Laguna - Agua Dulce Loop
Wow this looks very dry, maybe the driest place we've seen so far. The recent rain might not change much.
Quercus kelloggii , California black oak are preparing to get rid of their leaves, making for a nice colorful display.
There isn't much water left in big lake. What's left of the green stuff, is prime target for the cows.
Bloom very low, around 10 different plants, most is low numbers.
From the S2 the May 2021 fire seem to be have been small.
On the route there is some destruction of the several firebreaks.
The fire has covered most of the western part of the unnamed canyon we hiked in.
Otherwise the fire is surprisingly spotty.
The good thing, this will be an interesting spring 2022 hike.
The start is depressingly dry, but gets better closer to the hills and in washes.
Regrowth is spectacular, Krameria bicolor / White rhatany already close to 30 cm high, almost as high as a mature plant, but lacks much of it's original with.
Cacti seem to suffer more, but time will tell.
There sure will be an enormous amount of Argemone munita , Prickly poppy next spring.
An enormous number of good-looking Datura wrightii , Jimson weed and a good number of way beyond peak Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry.
This is prime Gutierrezia sarothrae , Matchweed terrain, plants are just past peak bloom.
We found another spring we missed last time, now the green spot is easy to see with a good pool water hidden in Schoenoplectus americanus , American tule.
Vast amounts of Distichlis spicata , Salt grass in both springs. .
Bloom low, around 20 different plants, most is low numbers.
Bloom is still relatively good, with hundreds of good blooming Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop and plenty of Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills.
That said plants are well past peak bloom, but a couple of weeks ago we made the same observation and things don't look that much worse.
Many very good looking and blooming Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry.
Look for the tiny flowers of Boerhavia wrightii , Wright's spiderling, most are done, but some are still in bloom.
October/23/2021 Blair Valley Granite Mountain Loop
Not too long ago this whole area was covered with Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed. Mainly around washes you still find a lot of fresh plants.
Lots of nice blooming Ericameria brachylepis , Boundary goldenbush, Allionia incarnata villosa , Large flowered trailing windmills and a very pretty Eriogonum plumatella , Yucca buckwheat.
We've been checking Boerhavia for a couple of weeks (there are hundreds of thousands) , so fare no luck finding the one we were searching for, until now. Boerhavia coulteri palmeri, Palmer's spiderling.
In Box Canyon proper, the bloom is actually not too bad.
It's still cool, time for a relaxed hike in the badlands.
There are enough interesting plants to explore, even if the bloom is low.
Especially Cylindropuntia echinocarpa , Golden cholla;Silver cholla look fresh and golden.
The loop consists of two combined hikes 1-5-17 palms and the link below.
This time we hiked along the edge of Whale Mountain, to find more Euphorbia revoluta , Rolled leaf spurge and we found many more.
Actually all kinds of Euphorbia are probably the best bloomer right now.
It's still sunny at the start and cold, the temps were probably close to freezing at the highest point of our hike.
If not for the temperature, sure enough with the wind blowing over the mountain.
The most visible bloom is Ericameria teretifolia , Green rabbitbrush that are at their best right now.
Amaranthus fimbriatus , Fringed amaranth all along our hike, thousands.
Some germination like Phacelia distans , Common phacelia, even one already in bloom.
Even out of bloom, Nolina parryi , Parry's nolina are spectacular.
Driving back towards Scissors Crossing some light rain.
At the start, maybe the best cactus area in the Anza Borrego Desert.
We expected a usual dry hike.
But soon lots of blooming Justicia californica , Chuparosa a rare sight at the moment.
The area is covered with Euphorbia pediculifera pediculifera , Carrizo mountain spurge and Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills.
Hibiscus denudatus , Rock hibiscus took us by surprise, most plants are in good bloom, wow.
All in all a much better than expected flower show, with plenty, probably too many rocks and boulders.
Bloom is low but good for the time of year, in the washes up to Whale Peak.
Driving into Coyote Canyon, things turn a bit greener past Alcoholic Pass.
Road is very good, and water is flowing in First up to Third Crossing.
Water flow is strong and a nice pool at Second Crossing.
The stream has shifted over the years, building a great jungle of scrubs, dead and alive.
Not too long ago it was easy to more or less follow the stream. Right now that's very difficult.
Fields of non-native grasses in and around the creek.
Plenty of small and more mature Tamarix ramosissima , Tamarisk.
What used to be a great flower creek, is a big disappointment at the moment.
Things were better a couple of weeks ago judging by the Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed.
Field of almost out of bloom Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills and Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop.
Most of the Chilopsis linearis arcuata , Desert willow are blooming.
Driving into Anza things don't look promising for our goal to find Mentzelia laevicaulis , Giant blazing star in bloom.
Every year the Coyote Canyon Road deteriorates and becomes more challenging.
We nowadays stop before Turkey Track, where the road hits the wash.
The road past our parking point is very interesting and we are glad to hike instead of driving.
Even the wash "road" into Horse Canyon, that used to be very good is now in very bad shape.
We've never seen Lepidospartum squamatum , Scale broom;California broomsage bloom this good.
The smell is very strong, too strong to be a pleasant smell.
It's dry and our guess a bit late for Mentzelia laevicaulis , Giant blazing star.
Our first point is up a steeper slippery slope and YES a blooming plant.
Interesting up there, more so while moving to the other side of the plant taking pictures, without crashing down the hill.
The ultimate proof, I was covered with dead Mentzelia leaves, almost impossible to get off the shift.
It's an almost dead looking plant with several flowers and buds.
Hiking up the wash, NO WAY a big plant right in the middle of the wash.
Plants all over, big plants, more than 30 alive or at least very recently.
This must be one of the better years for the plants; we've never seen so many.
A long 4 1/2 hour hike, at temperatures < 70 degrees and a light breeze, perfect hiking weather.
It's dry but not bad, with over 30 different plants in bloom.
The night before we had a sand storm and a very short heavy not measurable rain.
It was close to freezing in Ranchita when we found a couple of Oenothera californica avita , California evening primrose in bloom.
Dry dry, it looks very dry, almost no bloom except for the Eriogonum wrightii membranaceum , Wright's buckwheat.
Our goal was to find Heterotheca sessiliflora echioides, Bristly goldenaster.
YES we found several plants, but not on the iNaturalist location.
Surprisingly not a single blooming Cucurbita foetidissima , Stinking gourd and this is prime territory.
It's very dry, bloom almost not existing, except at springs.
On our last trip, this seems the place to be to see some kind of bloom.
Most of the trip is carpeted with Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop that were closed when we started our hike.
Past 9 A.M. they opened and pointed the flowers somewhat towards the sun.
Really surprising to see so many green and flowering Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills.
Interestingly most Krameria/Rhatany looked a bit like Psorothamnus schottii , Indigo bush, with almost the same color.
Very good looking, Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry.
Most noticeable plants in bloom:
Hundreds of Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills (blooming early); Euphorbia, spurge; Boerhavia wrightii , Wright's spiderling.
Thousands of Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop (blooming past 9:30 A.M.) most plants are past peak bloom
The canyon walls covered with hundreds of Boerhavia wrightii , Wright's spiderling.
In the washes many blooming Asclepias subulata , Rush milkweed.
We tried to add all blooming plants to iNaturalist.
It's dry, bloom not to high, but above average, this might be one of the best spots in the badlands.
October/9/2021 Green Valley Falls - Sweetwater Loop
Close to our start a good blooming Arceuthobium campylopodum , Pine dwarf mistletoe.
Our goal was to find seed pods of Astragalus oocarpus , San Diego milkvetch and we found plenty.
Some blooming plants: Ericameria pinifolia , Pine goldenbush; Eriastrum sapphirinum sapphirinum , Sapphire woolly star and Gutierrezia sarothrae , Matchweed.
In pooling water we found one new plant: Mentha canadensis, American cornmint.
Driving up the Fish Creek Wash (Split Mountain) every single Chilopsis linearis arcuata , Desert willow was in bloom.
At the Anticline the Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster seems to be GONE.
On our way back we double checked and found something small still alive. We already noticed the plant never got any bigger in the dozens of years it' been at that spot, most like the best photographed Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster ever.
Plenty of signs of rain, even some water pooling at the start of the hike.
But... the plants look unusually bleak.
The Lycium andersonii, Anderson's desert thorn look dead, but it's more likely that we're simply too early and the plants are still mostly dormant.
Very fresh Krameria erecta , Pima rhatany, just out of bloom.
The best blooming plants in great numbers: Hoffmannseggia microphylla , Hoffmannseggia and Tidestromia suffruticosa oblongifolia , Arizona honeysweet.
This time around we could even smell the latter from a distant, not a pleasant smell, like a decomposing animal.
There are a spectacular number of skeletons of Chorizanthe rigida , Devil's spineflower and Eriogonum trichopes , Little desert trumpet.
On our return trip we visited the San Felipe Wash and Butte Pass Road, see above.
Heading up to Julian, we drove into a low cloud cover, this isn't looking good.
Things clear up as we pass Julian, some blue patches and a thin cloud cover.
Excellent hiking temps in the low 60's.
Things look drier than we've seen before, no sign of any water along the loop.
Bloom is certainly at the very end, with some nice Eriastrum sapphirinum sapphirinum , Sapphire woolly star.
Time to ID dead plants, interesting to see how they look all dried up.
The good thing, we had a good hike well within the planned 4 hours.
Driving up the Montazuma, plants look summer dry.
The Buck Canyon area looks dry, bloom is probably lower than the previous years.
The good stuff happens around a couple springs.
The goal was to find blooming Helianthus californicus , California sunflower and we found some in bloom, but just barely in time.
A bonus: one Heteromeles arbutifolia , Toyon with some flowers and a couple of Mentha spicata , Spearmint we've never seen in bloom before.
It's time for rushes to bloom like Juncus xiphioides , Iris leaf rush.
Our goal today: To find more Euphorbia revoluta , Rolled leaf spurge.
Driving up on the Pinyon Mnt road plants look dry, not a good sign.
We expected nothing or only skeletons, but we found > 10 healthy plants just past bloom.
Now back to the 2 point Tom Chester gave us a couple of years back.
YES more plants on the south side of the Pinyon Mnt exactly at Toms location, but very small plants.
We almost gave up hope and crossed over to the north side (Pinyon Mnt) to check on the Eriogonum apiculatum , San Jacinto buckwheat. We still needed basal leaves, but those were long gone.
This area is home to blooming Ericameria teretifolia , Green rabbitbrush.
We hiked east and looped back along Whale mountain on the south side of the Pinyon Mnt road.
Soon we found more and more Euphorbia revoluta, bigger and bigger plants in the hundreds.
Plants a lot bigger than we've seen before, enough plants to take a voucher of 2 large plants.
Bloom is low as expected this time of year. Bloom was obviously better a couple of weeks ago closer to the monsoonal rain
As soon as we passed Blair Valley dry lake, we noticed the many Funastrum cynanchoides hartwegii , Climbing milkweed green and in fruit a good sign for recent rain.
Wow a lot of water flowed on the road aka the wash, lots of soft sand making driving interesting.
Lots of good blooming Chilopsis linearis arcuata , Desert willow along the road.
Suddenly bigger rocks on the road, too large for us to try, still an 1 hour hike from our previous stop.
We just hit the epicenter of the bloom that we might have missed if we could drive to our regular parking spot.
The torrential flow was very visible by it's destruction and originates from Charriot mountain.
On the other side of Rodrigues canyon (Granite mountain) the bloom was good, but is now close to it's end.
The combination heavy rain and a recent fire made for a spectacular end of the year bloom. Probably as good as it gets this time of year.
Striking: The thousands of blooming Boerhavia triquetra intermedia , Fivewing spiderling and carpets of Allionia incarnata villosa , Large flowered trailing windmills.
The latter is puzzling, the good part of the canyon the plants key to subsp. villosa (flowers way over 2 cm Jepson Key) and the other side to incarnata (flowers 3 times smaller). As if the plants vary the flower size by growing conditions.
Pectis papposa papposa, everywhere, one side of the canyon blooming and the other side just a faint yellow glow.
Big fresh looking Amaranthus fimbriatus , Fringed amaranth everywhere.
Many Datura wrightii , Jimson weed.
The list goes on and on, check the iNaturalist observations for some of them.
Into the Oriflamme Canyon the bloom dropped considerably to mostly dry, except for the Epilobium canum latifolium , California fuchsia.
We almost forgot our main goal, checking the Malosma laurina , Laurel sumac, unfortunately, no bloom.
Tom Chester and group spend 2 days in the area and reported a couple of plants we've never seen in bloom before.
Our plan was to hike an easy loop up to Azalea Spring Loop along some of these plants.
We got distracted going cross country finding plants and ended up at Cuyamaca peak on a 5 hour hike.