I got up around 6:00 again this morning, and got myself and my dog Esteban ready to spend the day with my friend and fellow Naturalist, Roxanne, looking for wildflowers. We took Highway 16 West to Highway 20 and then onto Bear Valley Road. We had been warned that Bear Valley Road, which is a dirt road, was in terrible shape and very rutted, but we got lucky and the road was actually newly scraped with some new gravel laid down at the head of it… so, relatively smooth going.
There were so many flowers to look at along Highway 16 that we had to stop in several spots to look around. There were flowering ash trees and Buckbrush, Yellow globe lilies (Diogenes’ Lanterns), Yerba Santa, Orange Bush Monkeyflowers, Mule’s Ears, Blue Dicks and Ithuriel’s Spears, Purple Owl’s Clover, several different kinds of lupine, and Pipestem Clematis, among others.
We also found a few galls including some petiole galls and a new-to-me Club Gall on the oak trees.
As an aside: In the Spring Gall Week 2023 challenge, I’m number 28 in a field of 262. Pretty good, if I do say so myself. And I did it without “cheating”, like some of the other participants did.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos from Highway 16 and 20 today.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos from Bear Valley Road itself.
We continued on to Bear Valley Road and were greeted with even more flowers including fields of Goldfields and Blue Dicks, roadside stands of a mix of Owl’s Clover, Creamcups, Sanicle, Tidytips and more. There were also hillsides covered in poppies and/or Phacelia. Breathtaking stuff!
Saw a few birds, including a pair of Mallards in the creek, some Red-Winged Blackbirds, Scrub Jays and a Bald Eagle flying through the valley along the creek line. I didn’t get any photos of it, but I did get video snippets of a quail and some Cliff Swallows.
We had a wonderful, if very long, day and saw so much! I took over 900 photos! [Don’t worry; I’m not putting all of them in the album. ] We didn’t get back home until around 6:00 PM.
This was hike #20 in my#52HikeChallenge for the year.
- Ash Tree, California Ash, Fraxinus dipetala
- Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus
- Bee Fly, Cone-Snout Bee Fly, Conophorus fenestratus
- Bee Fly, Family: Bombyliidae
- Bee, European Honeybee, Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera
- Bird’s-Eye Gilia, Gilia tricolor
- Bird’s-Foot Trefoil, Lotus corniculatus
- Blow Wives, Achyrachaena mollis
- Blue Dicks, Dipterostemon capitatus ssp. capitatus
- Blue Dock Beetle Gastrophysa cyanea
- Buckbrush, Ceanothus cuneatus
- Butter-and-Eggs, Johnnytuck, Triphysaria eriantha
- Buttercup, Western Buttercup, Ranunculus occidentalis
- California Buckeye Chestnut Tree, Aesculus californica
- California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
- California Mustard, Caulanthus lasiophyllus [white]
- California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
- California Quail, Callipepla californica
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- Catchfly, Small-Flowered Catchfly, Silene gallica
- Cattail, Narrow-Leaf Cattail, Typha angustifolia
- Cattle, Black Angus, Bos taurus var. Black Angus [domesticated]
- Cattle, Black Hereford, Bos taurus var. Black Hereford [domesticated, black with white face]
- Chia, Salvia columbariae
- Chinese Houses, Purple Chinese Houses, Collinsia heterophylla
- Clover, Cowbag Clover, Trifolium depauperatum
- Clover, Purple Owl’s Clover, Castilleja exserta var. exserta
- Clover, Tomcat Clover, Trifolium willdenovii
- Club Gall Wasp, Bisexual, Spring Generation, Andricus coortus [terminal bud gall on live oak]
- Cobwebby Thistle, Cirsium occidentale
- Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
- Coyote Brush Bud Gall midge, Rhopalomyia californica
- Creamcups, Platystemon californicus
- Dodder, California Dodder, Cuscuta californica
- Dog, Canis lupus familiaris
- Dudleya, Canyon Liveforever, Dudleya cymosa
- Fern, Bird’s Foot Cliffbrake, Pellaea mucronata
- Fiddleneck, Common Fiddleneck, Amsinckia menziesii
- Foothill Deervetch, Acmispon brachycarpus
- Fringepod, Sand Fringepod, Thysanocarpus curvipes
- Globe Lily, Diogenes’ Lantern, Calochortus amabilis [yellow]
- Goldfields, California Goldfields, Lasthenia californica
- Grasses, Bulbous Bluegrass, Poa bulbosa
- Grasses, Compact Brome, Bromus madritensis
- Grasses, Pink Grass, Windmill Pink, Hairypink, Petrorhagia dubia
- Grasses, Wild Oat, Avena fatua
- Hairy Hawkbit, Leontodon saxatilis [yellow]
- Ithuriel’s Spear, Triteleia laxa
- Kermes, Allokermes sp.
- Larkspur, Royal Larkspur, Delphinium variegatum [deep purple-blue]
- Leaf Gall Wasp/ Unidentified per Russo, Tribe: Cynipidea [on Valley Oak]
- Live Oak Folded Leaf Aphid, Stegophylla essigi [in live oaks, folds the leaf over itself; sometimes the leaf turns red/reddish]
- Live Oak Petiole Gall Wasp, Melikaiella flora [can also show up in the midvein]
- Lomatium, Foothill Desert-Parsley, Lomatium utriculatum
- Longhorn Seablush, Plectritis macrocera [white]
- Lupine, Arroyo Lupine, Lupinus succulentus [dark, almost purple]
- Lupine, Silver Bush Lupine, Lupinus albifrons var. albifrons
- Lupine, Chick Lupine, Lupinus microcarpus [yellow, white]
- Lupine, Miniature Lupine, Lupinus bicolor
- Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
- Manroot, Chilicothe, Marah macrocarpa
- Manzanita, Common Manzanita, Arctostaphylos manzanita
- Meshweaver Spider, Family: Dictynidae
- Miner’s Lettuce, Streambank Springbeauty, Claytonia parviflora
- Mirid Bug, Irbisia sp.
- Monkeyflower, Orange Bush Monkeyflower, Diplacus aurantiacus
- Monkeyflower, Seep Monkeyflower, Erythranthe guttata
- Mountain Dandelion, Agoseris sp.
- Mule’s Ears, Smooth Mule-Ears, Wyethia glabra
- Naked Buckwheat, Eriogonum nudum
- Narrowleaf Goldenbush, Ericameria linearifolia [yellow daisy-like flowers]
- Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
- Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
- Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
- Onion, Jeweled Onion, Allium serra
- Paintbrush, Woolly Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja foliolosa
- Pear Tree, Pyrus sp.
- Phacelia, Lacy Phacelia, Phacelia tanacetifolia [purple]
- Phacelia, Mountain Phacelia, Phacelia imbricata [white]
- Pink Star-Tulip, Calochortus uniflorus
- Pipestem Clematis, Old Man’s Beard, Clematis lasiantha
- Plantain, Dot-Seed Plantain, Plantago erecta
- Popcorn Flower, Rusty Popcornflower, Plagiobothrys nothofulvus
- Popcorn Flower, Scouler’s Popcornflower, Plagiobothrys scouleri
- Popcorn Flowers, Plagiobothrys sp.
- Poppy, California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica
- Poppy, Tufted Poppy, Eschscholzia caespitosa
- Purple Sanicle, Sanicula bipinnatifida
- Q-Tips, Micropus californicus
- Red Maids, Calandrinia menziesii
- Red-Tailed Hawk, Western Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis calurus
- Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
- Ruptured Twig Gall Wasp, Callirhytis perdens [on live oaks, black oaks]
- Small Melilot, Melilotus indicus [yellow]
- Sunflower, Common Woolly Sunflower, Eriophyllum lanatum
- Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
- Tamarisk, Saltcedar, Tamarix ramosissima
- Tidytips, Smooth Tidytips, Layia chrysanthemoides
- Toyon, Heteromeles arbutifolia
- True Babystars, Leptosiphon bicolor
- Valley Tassels, Castilleja attenuata
- Vetch, Hairy Vetch, Vicia villosa
- Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
- Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
- Western Redbud, Cercis occidentalis
- Western Wallflower, Erysimum capitatum
- Willows, Salix sp.
- Woolly Fishhooks, Ancistrocarphus filagineus
- Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Achillea millefolium
- Yerba Santa, California Yerba Santa, Eriodictyon californicum
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