Posts Tagged ‘plectritis’

Butterflies are Happy “Indian Dream Meadow” is Still Blooming

courting pair of western tiger swallowtails on mock-orange

I watched this courting pair of western tiger swallowtails on mock-orange for quite some time, wishing I hadn’t damaged my new camera with its much better video to fully capture their lovely pas de deux.

Back in May (see From the Minute to the Majestic), John Koenig and I went to explore a rocky meadow I’d discovered last fall off of Road 1714, a little southwest of Patterson Mountain. We decided to call it “Indian Dream Meadow” because of the abundance of Indian dream fern (Aspidotis densa). On Saturday, July 23, I went back to this neat spot to see what else was in bloom. Read the rest of this entry »

Beautiful Bloom at Bearbones

Rosy plectritis, death camas, and cliff penstemon blooming beautifully on the side ridge.

Yesterday (June 15), Dan Thomas, Nancy Bray, and I spent the day at Bearbones Mountain. I just love this little known jewel. So many interesting plants in such a small area. It’s a real melting pot, with plants more typical of the north, south, and east, all meeting together on a small, rocky knob. Few people travel this trail, so the plants are quickly filling in. We were surprised that most of the coralroots we saw seemed to be coming up right in the middle of the trail. We tried our best to avoid them, but as they were in bud and their reddish color blended in with the soil, it was difficult to spot them all, and on the return trip, we noticed several broken stalks we must have stepped on as we went up the trail.  Both my companions seemed happy at the diversity of plants we saw. There were many slender-tubed iris (Iris chrysophylla) and fairybells (Prosartes hookeri) in the woods. The fairybells are especially small along this trail, some only 4″ high. After spotting the white-flowered wands of Mitella trifida, we spent a while looking for the very similar M. diversifolia, so I could show them the difference in leaf and flower shape. They can be hard to spot among the showier plants, but there were quite a few. Read the rest of this entry »

A Rainbow of Colors at Tire Mountain

A riot of colorful annuals brighten up the meadows after a wet spring.

Yesterday (July 2), I went to Tire Mountain with fellow photographers, Greg Lief and Cheryl Hill, for what turned out to be my 30th trip. I just can’t help myself. It is so beautiful especially after a cool, damp spring like this. And indeed, I think it was as stunning as I’ve ever seen it. The continued cool weather has kept the extraordinary masses of rosy plectritis (Plectritis congesta) going at full steam even as the bluefield gilia (Gilia capitata) is coming into bloom. On drier years, the gilia usually takes over as the plectritis is disappearing. The seep monkeyflower, blue-eyed mary (Collinsia grandiflora), and rosy plectritis are washing the meadows in yellow, blue, and especially pink. Plenty of deep blue larkspur (Delphinium menziesii) and bright red paintbrush (Castilleja hispida) add to the colorful display.

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Sawtooth Rock Meadow in Gorgeous Peak Bloom

Sawtooth Rock Meadow in its prime

The paintbrushes need to be this bright to show up with all the yellow and pink!

I just came back from a lovely day doing both Sawtooth Rock Meadow and Mt. June with my husband Jim. While Mt. June’s peak bloom won’t be for another week or two this year, the meadow at Sawtooth Rock is as gorgeous as I can imagine it being. It’s been a number of years since I’ve been here when it is this beautiful. Good timing and a cool, wet spring really helped. The rosy plectritis is amazing (the smell of so much started to get to me however). Also at the peak of their bloom were Mimulus guttatus, Calochortus tolmiei, Lupinus albifrons, Delphinium menziesii, and the bright red paintbrushes, which here and nearby are hard to pin down to either Castilleja hispida or pruinosa, but are beautiful none the less. There are also thousands of fading Lomatium utriculatum and some overshadowed but cute Phacelia verna. I don’t have time to write much, and frankly, I don’t think words are necessary. As they say, a picture tells a thousand words! Read the rest of this entry »

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