Friday, March 08, 2013

Wildflower Hunt @ Blue Sky Ecological Reserve to Mt Woodson


Matilija Poppy, Blue Sky Ecological Reserve
As the carpet of wildflowers disappear on the hills by this time of the year, it is time now to simply hunt for wildflowers and enjoy them individually. It is actually as fun as seeing the carpet of wildflowers last March. The lack of wildflowers on the hills and valleys is exchanged now by the variety of flowers sharing the glory in the trail. Yesterday, we took the trail from Blue Sky Ecological Reserve to Mt Woodson ( please click here to learn about the mileage, elevation gain and direction ).
Matilija Poppy
The very first wildflower that greeted me was the Matilija Poppy that I saw near the parking lot. Notice the very low clouds hugging the hills, it has been that gray here in San Diego since last week. May and June are San Diego's gloomiest months, locally known as May Gray and June Gloom :( .
There were actually a lot of other wildflowers I saw, however, it was hard for me to take them a picture since they were not near the trail. Considering we are a rattlesnake country ( thankfully, I never had seen any rattlesnakes in any of our hikes), we always take precaution to not go off trail, and also, to allow plants to rehabilitate and grow. The next wildflower that caught my eye are these tall violet stalks, sadly, I do not know the name.
Flowering Sage, Blue Sky Ecological Reserve
Inside the reserve, along the creekside, there were a lot of bush mallows lining the trail.
Bush Mallow
These wildflower is found almost in the entire length of the hike, from Blue Sky to Lake Poway to Mt Woodson. Then, there are also California Everlasting scattered everywhere, also in the entire length of the hike.
California Everlasting
These wildflowers now replaced in terms of number the explosion of CA popies and other wildflowers which had an earlier bloom.
California Everlasting inside Oak Woodland
Then, a bonus for me, a wild rose inside the woodland. Bonus, since my favorite color is pink and I love rose :) and especially if it is wild.

California Wildrose
These pink wildrose alternates with the Hooker's primrose in the trail. They grow very tall.

Hooker's Primrose
Then, saw this lovely violet flower, which Anonymous pointed out to be Penstemon :)

Continuing from Blue Sky to Lake Poway, though the hills are less colorful now, but I am seeing some wildflowers I have not seen last March. I did not see any lupines anymore in the trail actually. But what replaces the lupines are these red wildflowers, which are really everywhere in the hillsides.

Fringed Indian Pink
There are still some California poppies thriving in the trail,

California Poppies
but there are now very few of them, compared with these yellow ones.

Weed's Mariposa Lily

Weed's Mariposa Lily (2)

Golden Yarrow
There were also more purple poppies than the CA poppies now, however, I found out that the name of these purple poppies are actually lilac mariposa lily.
Lilac Mariposa Lily ( thought they were purple poppies)
It is nice to see these late bloomers in the trail, it is nice to learn how these plants naturally take turns to add life to the hillsides. What joy I had when I saw a lone blue canterbury bell in the trail,
Blue Canterbury Bell, Mt Woodson Trail
because I did not expect to see this wildflower anymore since like the lupines and CA poppies, they are the early bloomers. Last March, the blue canterbury bell and the CA poppies share the glory in the hills, in terms of numbers.

Blue Canterbury Bells, Lake Poway Trail, March 2009
While yesterday, from Blue Sky to Lake Poway, I did not see any canterbury bells at all. It was only on our way up to Mt Woodson that I saw a lone canterbury bell peeking against the dry stalks and leaves, it was such a joy to see a single one still thriving. The hills now are more of brown, with most of the CA poppies, canterbury bells and lupines gone. They are now made more alive by the taller weeds, which looked more like a jungle of weeds dotted with their cute little flowers.
Mix of Tall Weeds with their cute little Flowers, Mt Woodson Trail
The mix of wildflowers above includes the bush monkey flower,
Bush Monkey Flower, Mt Woodson Trail
California asters,
California Aster

bull thistle,

Bull Thistle
and those red and yellow wildflowers above which I still have to find their names. While along the lake, some parts of the trail are lined with sunflowers,
Canyon Sunflowers, Lake Poway Trail
or with yellow mustards and other yellow blooms.
Mustards, Lake Poway Trail

It is still very gray here in San Diego right now,
May Gray and June Gloom
but thanks to these wildflowers and trees, that gives a promise of a blue sky to come.

PS...Thanks to Anynymous for helping me name some of the wildflowers here.
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  1. I am enjoying all of your wildflower pictures. Even though I lived in southern California for 35 years, I didn't do much hiking and unfortunately never saw most of those kinds of these flowers. I had no idea there were wild roses, amazing!

  2. Seeing those wildflower pictures made my day! They came in different colors and make them more beautiful! You can see wildflowers too here in GA, but I think, these pictures of yours are the most beautiful wildflowers I've ever seen!!

    Debbie :)

  3. Betchai, you've bring so much joy to my day seeing those stunning wild flowers! You took amazing pictures, and you know more of their names than I do :-(

    Looking forward to your next post.

  4. Lovely shots betchai...most esp the first one! I have lots of flowers too that i captured but I don't know the names. hehehe

  5. Beautiful photos. Some possibilities:

    Second photo - flowering white sage? Can't see really clearly.
    Checker bloom looks like bush mallow
    Peak bush rose looks like Hooker's primrose
    Purple flower - definitely a penstemon, but not sure if grandiflora or foothill
    Red flower - fringed Indian pink
    Yellow wildflowers on trail - looks like mustard
    Felt like I was out on the trail - thank you! What joy.

  6. I always enjoy when I see your wildflowers. Our weather has been gloomy too, but we are lucky to havea few breaks in between. I don't see many flowers in the forest. I have to be out from under the trees to see them. I've also missed a few opportunities for some good ones though.

  7. thanks a lot everyone.

    @ Anonymous, thanks for the heads up of the name, I'll edit this, it is easier when someone mentions the name, I can google for images, and you are right about the checker blooms-they are actually bush mallows. and you are right about the Hooker's primrose, pentstemon, fringed indian pinks and mustard. Thank you so much, I'll go edit now.

  8. Beautiful range of wild flowers! I wish I can walk there and admiring them one by one. Thanks for sharing them with us betchai :)

  9. Well I was going to try and pick a favorite, but it just is not possible. I do love the orange poppies, but then the pink ones, and blue ones all popped out at me. What a lovely example of nature at its finest.

  10. Hi's just amazing the numbers of flowers you've captured and they're all very beautiful. Your photography is excellent! Especially love the Bull Thistle, Primrose and Indian Pink shots.

    And by the way, I love your theme. All looks very professional and elegant!

  11. They are all beautiful but the blue canterbury bells have stolen my heart!

  12. These photos are amazing especially to see the dewdrops on leaves. You've captured their sheer perfection betchai.

  13. Hi! First time commenting here. Came here via Mei Teng's blog.

    I think I like your blog very much! That's because I am a lover of nature myself and you have lots of nice beautiful photos of flowers and nature!

    Will definitely visit again to read your other posts! : )

  14. I like the lilac maripose lily. You have an abundance of flowers to photograph here Betchai! No need to buy them just for photography...unlike me :)

  15. You Have So Many Flowers In Your Blog !!:)..Amazing ..Great Clicked..

  16. Those flowers are gorgeous! What lovely photos while we are having a gray, gloomy day.

  17. Hi Betchai! Visiting here and still enjoying the beautiful wildflowers!

    Hope you have a great middle of the week.

    Debbie :)

  18. Again I am amazed at all your wildflower images,I can't believe these grow in the wild,wow, great shots. The May Gray and June gloom pic is awesome.

  19. I love the Matilija Poppy... never saw anything like it!

  20. I just love your photos! The close up photos of the wildflowers are amazing! Even the dewdrops were captured perfectly!

  21. Goodness....I kept scrolling and scrolling and gasping each time...the best set of photos I have seen yet.
    Beautiful work :)

  22. Hello again
    I would love to use a few of your photos in my next newsletter if that would be alright with you.
    I will also attach a link to your site along with them.
    Please let me know:)


  23. I am so in love with wild flowers! That Blue Canterbury Bell looks so awesome. Actually they all do. I don't know how you get those beautiful colors. It's amazing. I hope tomorrow to take some pics of here and will post too as Hubby will be off work. Although I am no where near as good as you lol. By the way me2everyoen, the special i am doing they just announced they are giving new members 2000 shares till we hit 500,000 members so if you can get in before they go. Huggies see you tomorrow.

  24. Hi Betchai ! I will never get tired looking at your pictures ! Love it !

  25. The blue one is my favorite.

  26. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  27. The poppy's are stunning. Great shots you got, as always.