Wildflowers of Yosemite -- Arrival

Maybe there's something special about women who garden. Just recently, Jan at Thanks For 2 Day mentioned in this post that she's been married for almost 32 years. And I'm quite sure I remember some other rather intimidatingly large numbers from other garden bloggers.

Regardless, I've just returned from a happy week in Yosemite, where Mr Mouse and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary (and never a dull moment...).

Mr. Mouse had made reservations at Evergreen Lodge, quite close to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and right outside the West entrance. I already wanted to stop on the way in, the flowers looked so amazing. But we wisely checked in and returned a little later to make some photos in the late afternoon light. These are photos of meadows at about six thousand feet elevation.

I'm used to meadows being green; these meadows were yellow and blue. Just amazing.

Above a close-up of Madia elegans, probably ssp elegans (Common Madia), found at low-mid elevation. Madias are also called tarweeds, and I for one enjoyed the strong fragrance.

The same meadow was dotted with Clarkia williamsonii (Williamson's Clarkia). Interestingly, this clarkia looks a lot like the clarkia I've been growing in my garden, from seed labeled Clarkia amoena. Regardless, she was beautiful, and there were so many!

The meadow was so colorful and looked so well-designed. I thought I'd also like a gray dead tree stump, with big holes made by the critters, right in the middle of my garden. Why not?

Before I could start filling the car with branches, though, Mr. Mouse drove on and we stopped again near a creek. In the evening light, we found some beautiful blue penstemon, but even with the wonderful Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada, I'm having trouble determining precisely which one it is. Most likely, it's Showy Penstemon (Penstemon speciosus).

The final set of plants for the day was very familiar, though: Western Azelea (Rhododendron occidentale).

I have one of these beautiful bushes in a pot in the back yard, and was so impressed to find a whole bank of them right at the roadside. They really were so beautiful, it seemed hard to believe they weren't garden plants. But that was just the beginning of our wildflower adventures, and I hope to show more in some other posts later this month.


Barbara E said…
Congratulations! And what a wonderful way to celebrate. My husband and I celebrated our 36th anniversary last June. So you think it is the gardening?
Lucy said…
It's interesting to see the flowers of Yosemite because I have only ever seen photos of the dramatic scenery before.

About women gardeners. Is it women gardeners or women who blog who fit this category? (Or women who garden who also blog?) . . . Don't know!

And would you really have been allowed to take the log? Really like old wood like that.

GardenJoy4Me said…
Hello the Town_Mouse !
I love the meadow flower pictures : ) Kingston has been trying to be as green about wildflowers on the side of our roads and highways .. they have sown many a wild flower and grass to make those spaces look as attractive as possible .. I love seeing them from the car as we drive by.
Congratulations on the anniversary !
We are working on our 33 year .. and for a military marriage that is special ; )
Anonymous said…
Randy Emmitt said…
Great set of photos! We visited Yosemite a few weeks ago and I just loved looking for wild things along Evergreen Road right down from where you stayed we found about 10,000 California Tortoiseshell butterflies. The butterflies were passing though. Hope you had as fun an experience as we did!