Friday, May 4, 2012

Black Mountain Trail


The Black Mountain Trail  (link added after user comment, thanks!) is one of my most favorite trails, and early spring is the best time to go. These photos are almost a month old, but I thought I'd share them anyway, after so much excitement in the garden, it's good to see a change. Above, the most amazing sight of the trail, long rows of ceanothus along the path. I wish I'd done a recording of the happy pollinators. It was quite magical.


Equally exciting were all the surprises on the first part of the trail. We started at Hidden Villa, which meant we had the first mile or so in a shady area with a small stream.


The first of the beautiful Trillium, impossible to grow in the home garden.


Indian warrior (Pedicularis densiflora), equally impossible to grow in a home garden unless you have a certain oak, with which it has a symbiotic relationship.


Pretty little Polypodium Californium, a fern that goes completely dormant in summer and reappears suddently with the rains. Not easy to grow in a home garden, but I bought a plant this spring and hope it will come back.


Already a part of my garden is Smilacea racemosa (false Salomon seal), with large green leaves and delicate white flowers.


Beautiful and quite common in the forest but almost impossible to find in the trade is Cynoglossum grande (western hound's tongue). Is it the smallish flowers, or is this plant really hard to grow? Maybe Ms. Country Mouse's experiments will eventually tell us one way or the other.


And quite possibly my favorite the checkerspot lily, with beautiful greenish flower (and very challenging to photograph).

We had not planned to make it to the top that day, but getting half-way was just perfect and left us pleasantly tired, ready to dream of the green ferns, the whispering stream, and the beautiful flowers that you can only find her, and only in spring.

8 comments:

Bernie H said...

There are some absolutely beautiful flowers along this trail. What a fabulous spot to wander through.

Timeless said...

Hello, I may have missed somethinghere, but I know of a number of locations in Southern California where there are Black Mountain hiking locations, but is this up in northern California ? Some of the plants I don't recognize from down south. Beatiful views BTW!

Thanks - Kevin

Mary@Going Native said...

How great to encounter those beautiful flowers on your hike. Thanks for sharing.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I haven't tried propagating Cynoglossum grande yet, as the deer kept devouring the tops of the flowers before they set seed. This year though I have a cluster of them behind the greenhouse where they're safe, and I'm plotting and scheming to save seeds, and try growing some. If they actually grow, I'll be happy to share some with you!

Town Mouse said...

Sorry I should have added a link to that trail, here it is. I'm also adding it in the post.

http://www.bahiker.com/southbayhikes/ranchoblack.html

Timeless said...

Okay, someting is not working. Your system won't let me spell out the code properly without getting on my case about it. I'll try break it up into two posts and see if that will work. The code is

TITLE

Timeless said...

Nope, it's not goinf to happen. Sorry, but there is a way. I've done it before with no problem.

Go ahead and erase all these pointless post and sorry again, but maybe next time.

Cheers Kevin

queerbychoice said...

Polypodium californicum, not easy to grow? I beg to differ. All mine needs is shade and a little water, and it grows fine. It's not at all picky about drainage. It does vanish in the summer, but it comes back immediately with the first tiny sprinkle of rain. Watering it in summer doesn't seem to prevent it from vanishing, but watering it in September can bring it back into sight.