Memories of a Grand Wildflower Day Out

It's now almost a month that Country Mouse and I threw caution in the wind and had a Grand Wildflower Day Out, described with wonderful photos by Country Mouse right after the outing. But I promised I'd show my photos as well, so here they finally are.

Above one of the vernal pool mystery plants. The Wikipedia page on vernal pools says "Vernal pools, also called ephemeral pools, are temporary pools of water. They are usually devoid of fish, and thus allow the safe development of natal amphibian and insect species." Unfortunately, most of the vernal pools along 140 were fenced in, and parking was difficult. So we glimpsed tantalizing circles of bright yellow or buttery yellow, but couldn't get close. We did later see some vernal pools of a side road where I took this photo of a Triphysaria eriantha (butter and eggs) plus a Chlorogalum pomeridianum (California soaproot).

But even as we approached Mariposa, we started to see beautiful meadows of wildflowers. Nemophilia menziesii (Baby blue eyes) on an embankment.

Also fields of white flowers. This stunning display reminded me a lot of the description of the meadows in the alps in Heidi, the children's book. When I read that book I so longed to see the beautiful flowers in the Alps that amazed Clara, the city girl. But a vacation like that was beyond our means at that time. So it felt really special that I had the chance to see the flowers now, so close to home.

Other flowers were like old friends, like the Dichelostemma capitatum (Blue dick) that I often see on my walks in the parks closer to home. I also loved the Layia platyglossa (tidy tips), looking like small suns on this gray day.

And a gray day it was. We kept hoping for the promised clearing and sunny weather, but it was more like this.

But we were much too excited about the amazing flowers, and making photos is actually more difficult when it's sunny. I would have never been able to make this photo of a beautiful manzanita if it had been sunny.

I now believe that this was most likely a Manzanita viscida (ghost manzanita) -- check out this interesting post about ghost manzanita by Pomona at Tulips in the Woods .

And as Country Mouse already explained, the best was last. The most amazing mountain of lupine. Well, it was actually an embankment, but two species of Lupine were in full bloom. The blue lupine is Lupinus Benthamii (also known as spider lupine). It dominated the display.

It was mixed with a white lupine, Lupinus densiflorus.

An amazing sight. We almost didn't mind the cars racing by.

After all, there were a few more photos to take.

And then the drive home and the joy of having spent a day with the blossoms.


Tatyana said…
I haven't seen such masses of wild flowers for a long time. Love it!Thank you!
Love all the blooms, especially the tidy tips. If you were in Michigan, I'd say the yellow flowers in the first photo look a bit like Zizia aurea, but those don't go as far west as CA.
Michelle said…
Thanks for sharing your wildflower photos! The lupine is amazing. I just can't get enough of the wildflowers this year. :)
Wonderful to see! Thank you!
That looks like manzanita viscida to me, too (thanks for the link!). I love your lupines. We have L. nanus by our roadsides, maybe 6-8" tall. I like yours and would love to try if it grows here. I'm all in favor of lupines.

I need a wildflower walk, too!
The blue of those lupines is amazing. What a a lovely walk through the wildflowers.
lostlandscape said…
Great flowers! Vernal pools can offer some the the most unusual sights--probably unusual because almost all the flat spots have been paved over. My visits to our local ones are memorable with all the ephemeral little plants and tiny toads and chorus frogs by the hundreds under foot.

I love the manzanitas throughout the year, but especially this time of year with the flowers and berries starting up. Your viscida is a great one.
Country Mouse said…
Well it was a lot of fun to go on the trip again - virtually. Your photos are nicer than my photos,Tmouse! :-p