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.