Tassajara Wildflowers - a Special Year!

Firecracker Penstemon `Scarlet Bugler`

This year, Mr. Mouse had the good fortune of spending some extra time down in Tassajara. We started with several wonderful wildflower hikes, and spent 3 days at a nature journaling workshop (more about that in another post).

Firecracker Penstemon Close-Up

Tassajara is a monastery in the mountains inland from Carmel that's famous for the hot springs and excellent food. In spring, it's surrounded by some of the most spectacular wildflowers I've ever seen.

Tarweed (Madia) Along Tony Trail
Our first hike was along the (rather steep) Tony trail, and we very much enjoyed the different annuals there (Tarweed, 3 Clarkia species, Lupine). It was also an excellent year for Globe Lily (shown below) and with our visit late in the season, we were able to enjoy the pretty triangular seedpods and the last of the flowers.

Globe Lily with Seedpods
We were even more ambitious on the second day and hiked the horse pasture trail. The weather was fairly cool, so the hikes were very enjoyable. Yes, I was nervous about poison oak, which is everywhere, but I'm hopeful that I managed to avoid touching it.

The beauties on this trail were too many to mention (or photograph), but I had to stop for this spectacular Indian Paintbrush. The Firecracker Penstemon pictures at the beginning of this post were also from this trail.

Indian Paintbrush
The horse pasture trail has an excellent combination of sunny areas and more shady areas, so the wildflowers are especially varied.

Larkspur and Tarweed
I'm always so excited when I see Larkspur, which I only know as a garden plant from Europe.

Foothill Penstemon
A few clumps of Foothill Penstemon were on the second part of the trail, though the camera shows the color too purple. Interesting also to see the so called Golden Yarrow in the background (which is not a yarrow, but I'm tired of Latin names...)

Foothill Penstemon Close-Up
Our final hike was up the road from Tassajara together with other friends of the monastery.

It was a beautiful morning, with pockets of fog still nestled in some of the valleys.

The wildflowers along the road were spectacular and included Bush Poppy, Wooly Bluecurl, and several different Lupine species including Harlequin Lupine (sorry, no photo).

Monkey flower took advantage of the cracks in the rocks along the road. I wish I had drainage like that, but as things are, I'll stick with cultivars that like my clay soil - and I enjoy the show of stunning wildflowers in Tassajara even more!

Monkeyflower Close-Up


David C. said…
Beautiful plant scenes!

Seeing Firecracker Penstemon (or Scarlet Bugler - are those called the same plant in CA?) reminds me of how much I used that one, tolerant of all manners of watering, no water, or even slight over-watering. That huge Indian Paintbrush! Ours' are small and hide within foothills grasses, mostly.