And bookending the meadows were these two pools of cool blue water.
Sunday, July 5, 2015
it was hot. It was the 4th of July. So we did what all good patriots do and found a swimming hole. This hike took us from Toad Lake to Porcupine Lake in the Shasta-Trinity NF, and the flowers were blooming like firecrackers in the high mountain meadows.
But what we did find in abundance was downingia. I identified this earlier as D. insignis, but this is our own Cascade calico flower, D. yina. Below, it forms a small blue "lake" in the drying mud between FS Rd. 70 and 46N09.
This white hyacinth, Triteleia hyacinthina, was having a good year. And someone else found this puffball type fungus with an interesting pentagonal honeycomb structure.
Saturday, May 30, 2015
We took a Sunday drive up to Little Shasta Meadows Botanical Area on the east side
and were gifted with Pygmy Lewisia in bloom in the still-wet-sand of the meadow.
Two other tiny flowers: Dwarf Waterleaf, herding her flowers under her wings, like a hen brooding chicks, and the belly-flowered Miner's Lettuce (belly flowers are so small you have to get on your belly to see them!).
It was too early for the beautiful blue Camas lily, but we saw plenty of buttercups and purple larkspur.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
My husband, in his daily rounds caretaking our lovely white oak and chaparral scrub home, discovered these little beauties coming up in an old roadcut on top of the ridge. He was baffled at how the entire plant was yellow! And has no leaves! It's true, because the plant has no chlorophyll--it's parasitic to the roots of neighboring plants.
Orobanche fasciculata, commonly known as Clustered broomrape, is native to California.
Here's another Orobanche, the purple-flowering O. uniflora or Single-flowered broomrape,
that lives in the lean serpentine soils of China Hill, just to the northeast of Yreka.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
We took a day drive to Willow Creek Mountain, the source of the Little Shasta River. Found lots of wildflowers, but got no pictures of the female Sooty Grouse or the courting Sandhill Cranes.
Arrow-leaf balsam root catches some sun.
Showy phlox peeps from the rock.
Three new white flowers for me: a fragrant sweet pea, columnar phacelia
and I think that last is a Death Camas (lily family)!!!
And then, there's the lovely purple phacelia.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Yreka's own native endemic phlox, Phlox hirsuta, was found blooming about a month early this year at China Hill, on the northeast side of town.
Other plants flowering on this sunny day before Easter included (from top) poppies and blue gilia, silver rock cress, blue dicks and lomatium.
Showy phlox, Phlox speciosa, also makes a home on China Hill's lean serpentine soils. Note the notched petals on this one, compared to the Yreka phlox.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Visiting a rarely-appreciated gem on the east side of Siskiyou:
Orr Lake, a high desert oasis tucked in a the base of Orr Mountain between
Goosenest and Mt. Hoffman and with a view to Mt. Shasta to the south.
Fed by overflow from nearby Butte Creek, Orr Lake survives year-to-year on its winter income and yet provides a home for lily pads and fish all summer.