Tire Mountain Flowers Taking Off

While Molly and I were thrilled at the abundance of Menzies’ larkspur (Delphinium menziesii), Ruby was thrilled just being outside enjoying the sunshine and, no doubt, lots of good smells.

A week ago, Saturday, May 20, Molly Juillerat, her dog Ruby, and I attempted to get to some meadows above Burnt Bridge Creek, just west of the Alpine Trail. Our first attempt led us up a steep, poison oak-infested forest with lots of fallen logs. After giving up on this futile mission, we returned to the car and decided not to try from a different spot until another day. Instead, we treated ourselves to a beautiful day at nearby Tire Mountain. Again, There weren’t any major discoveries or surprises to share, so photos will suffice to give you an idea of how pretty it is already, and it should be even more beautiful in the coming weeks (unless this unexpect drought continues too long).

From the main view meadow, one can see lots of snow on the Sisters, and Grasshopper Meadows (in the center of the distant ridge) was just beginning to melt out. Up close, harsh paintbrush (Castilleja hispida) and Hall’s lomatium (Lomatium hallii) were quite beautiful.

Large swaths of Thompson’s mistmaiden (Romanzoffia thompsonii) covered damp parts of the first small meadow as well as a number of other spots along the trail.

Weekends are prime for mountain bikers on the Alpine Trail (a few can be seen parked along the trail at the top of the photo), so we left the trail and headed down the steep slope of the view meadow to reach the hidden meadow Molly hadn’t been to before. The white flowers blooming in the foreground among the larkspur are California mistmaiden (Romanzoffia californica).

Ruby uncharacteristically leaving her mom’s side to inspect a rock outcrop and small madrone in the hidden meadow. Snow-covered Fuji Mountain can be seen in the distance at the upper right of the photo.

More lomatium and paintbrush along with spreading phlox (Phlox diffusa) decorated the rocks along the ridge of the large meadow with the dike.

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