Tom and I dodged down to Hite Cove to check up on the flowers there and get a little run in. The run was marvelous. We went all the way to the Cove, and I felt great – although my legs were cramping a little toward the end (not sure why). Plus, the flowers were spectacular.
A friend had been a little worried that the poppies were past. True, they may not be as abundant as they have been, but there are still plenty spectacular. Right now, it seems like the best display is further up-canyon, near El Portal. For my money, the hillsides have gotten even more interesting because instead of uninterrupted carpets of orange, the orange is punctuated with many other flowers and colors. I think the show stopper this trip, were the beautiful patches of Bird’s Eye Gilia (of which I got the Gilia and the B, but had to look up the rest).. or the RedBud. RedBud is always amazing when it is in bloom.
Many of the people that I stopped to ask about flower names could only shrug. To my, “Ooo – do you know what kind of flower that is?” one guy smiled and said, “The pretty kind”. True enough. Still, for those who are interested in this kind of thing (and are understanding of my imperfect flower identification skills)…
The Blue Dicks and the Poppies that are so amazing right at the beginning of the trail have been joined up front with Owl’s Clover, lupines and the Bird’s Eye Gilia. I missed the Shooting Stars, but Tom said he saw some – although they seem to be ending. The Baby Blue Eyes are still amazing, and the Goldfields are still there, but seemed to have moved. There is one spot (where we stopped for a snack on our last trip) where the Goldfields are almost done, but they are still blooming fiercely in other areas (maybe less direct sun? I’d have to go back and check). Also, the Popcorn Flowers that used to be so abundant seemed to be mostly gone.
In addition, we spotted (in no particular order) Pretty Faces, Chinese Houses, Fiesta Flowers, LOTs of Poison Oak, Indian Paintbrush, Fiddlenecks, Miner’s Lettuce and a bunch more that we don’t know yet. Today’s mystery is a flower that looks a lot like the Alpine Campion, but I still need to look at some more books. I’m still waiting for the Fairy Lanterns to bloom, but I think I have to wait until the Poppies are mostly gone for that. Guess I’ll just have to make another visit.
And I just want to add – this is a wonderful trail to run – but not mid-day on a Saturday. The trail is narrow, and it can be difficult to get by people. We should have started either earlier or later in the day – which we have done before – but it was also nice to be able to enjoy the warmth and sunshine. (Yosemite West was a chilly 40 degrees after then mid-60s we enjoyed at Hite Cove.) Also, in answer to a perennial concern that we are not enjoying the flowers/scenery because we are jogging instead of walking – I hope it’s clear that I very much enjoyed the flowers.