This Snapdragon (Antirrhinum filipes) was a rare find! Found by our botanist friend, Colin, along the first loop of the Randall Henderson Trail at the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument (that is quite the mouthful…).
A beautiful and dainty flower that grows at the end of the tendril. How crazy is that. While using the macro lens, we bumped the tendril off the branch of White Ratnay, a few times; each time, re-wrapping the tendril oh-so carefully.
Low lighting conditions are always fun… and today was no exception! All clouds all the time made this little Loeseliastrum schottii as vivid as could be! Focus stacking does a pretty good job. However, I wonder if there’s any way to fine tune the focus/monitoring from the iPad?
The pictures taken above are from the Sony alpha mirrorless camera. The pictures below are from an iPhone 6 with Ollo clip macro lens. The iPhone is great for scouting out photo ops, especially for tiny flowers! It saves time and energy from having to set up the tripod, macro rail, camera, iPad monitor, etc only to discover that the subject matter may not be the best…
The third botanical illustration features Indigo Bush, Psorothamnus schottii. This design was tricky in terms of color. It’s difficult to capture the blue-purple of the Indigo Bush flower. It’s even more difficult to print the color in CMYK! And depending on the paper, the colors appear either too dark or muddied.
When we camped up on Thomas Mountain a couple weeks ago, we saw a fuzzy plant near our tent that was just starting to bud. We had no idea what it was. Actually, we still have no idea what it is, even after returning to find the flower!
And that’s not all that’s flowering up the mountain. We captured what we could and will return to take more pictures.
One of the first flowers we encountered was this pink flower. It looks like a primrose… It was early in the morning (and cold) so it wasn’t fully open.
Next, we saw a cluster of these little yellow flowers. I’m pretty sure it’s not chinchweed…
As we drove up higher, we saw manzanitas blooming and this small tree covered in blue flowers. They were fragrant, if not a wee bit stinky.
At the peak of Thomas Mountain, we saw:
Geoff’s mystery flower with the downy-soft leaves.
This flower that reminds me of wood sorrel in Maine.
I forget the name of this mustard-like flower, which we’ve seen up in Mount San Jacinto State Park.
We had our picnic at a campsite at the peak, walked around, then headed back down the mountain. Of course we stopped and took more pictures of wildflowers…duh!
On the way down, we saw one side of the mountain covered in these blue flowers, poking out amongst the lupine leaves.
Nearby were these monkey flowers? They look like the monkey flowers from Mount San Jacinto State Park, but bigger.
As we’re driving down, we stop again for these purple flowers!
And these desert dandelions?!
And, one of my favorite little flowers, the gilia. But which gilia?
All joking aside, we’re pretty sure this lovliest of lovlies is from the family Eucrypta, but is it Eucrypta micrantha, or Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia? Hopefully, some avid botanist could help us out with this problem…? The detail below has a leaf in it, maybe helpful, maybe not… oh well…
When we first spotted this little guy (or gal), we thought it was one of the gilias that we’d been seeing. It’s leaves are kinda similar and they are all very tiny with pale purple flowers. They also have little hairs along the stem. The little hairs actually remind us of another tiny plant in Maine known as Sundew (Drosera — a carnivorous plant). Of course, this little lovely is far from carnivorous.
When we found this little bee cozily snoozing in this ghost flower (Mohavea confertiflora), we wondered how it got there. After a while, we posited that the ghost flower and bee may have similar nocturnal/diurnal rhythms. At night, we thought, the bee would go to sleep (in the flower) as the flower closed, and when the sun came up in the morning to warm them both, the flower would open and the bee would start its day. Wonderful.
This is one of my favorite flowers! It’s about 3 mm in diameter and doesn’t open until after 10 am. There are a few flowers in the gilia family. This one is star shaped with petals that slowly transform from a bluish-purple to pink at the tips. The inside of the flower is white, then inside the throat is an unmistakable yellow—hence, yellow-throated. The anthers (or pom-poms as I like to call them), of which there are five, are a light blue. How can something so tiny contain so much color?!
They are everywhere on our hikes, but you have to look for them (because they are so delicate and tiny). That’s another thing, how can something so delicate withstand the heat and not wilt? The desert is a constant source of amazement! Well, many of the ones we find grow in the lee of a rock—those tend to stick around longer and are taller than their counterparts that grow in the open.
Some lesser yellow throated gilia have more pink, some a little more blue, and yet others a little more purple. This one is a gorgeous example of all three colors prominently featured. I particularly love the outline of the petals in that bright pink. Simply stunning!
I wonder how long these little guys and gals will last…
Pointed, star-shaped, five-petaled flower with fuzzy silvery, green leaves. It was so bright that the flowers were almost invisible (plus, they’re tiny). It’s amazing that we continue to spot new species of wildflowers every time we go hiking.
Also, on the trail today, we tried our first mammalaria fruits. They were reddish-orange… small… and seedy… but yummy (though Karla asked, are they supposed to be “slightly slimy?”).
The most collaboration we’ve put into a picture yet! I’m working the camera, and Karla’s working the Ipad remote, checking the focus and exposure, so that we could combine multiple images into this interpretive HDR. Our new Sony a6000 rocks… seriously.
For months, G and I hiked up the mountains looking at flowers and identifying ‘new’ species (new to us). Each hike took a few hours…with the backpack…the camera…camera equipment…snacks…and water…lots of water. We would set our at dawn and, sometimes, return home in the afternoon. No, we are not crazy; but we are, dedicated.
So imagine our surprise when we spotted this beauty in the Sculpture Garden at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert. Since we were in picture taking mode, we brought our camera and equipment everywhere.
We found this beautiful little flower along the drainage ditch on the way to the sculpture garden, and had to stop for a look! It’s hard to get the light right when the sun is directly overhead, without blowing out the highlights, or a mass of specular highlights. I like the color, it reminds me of this sunny day.
Living next to the San Jacinto Mountains, one cannot help but hike and wonder at what’s beyond the peaks. So, we did. Granted, it took us awhile; first, to acclimate, then, to find trails! This little lovely desert globe mallow was found off-trail (though you didn’t hear it from us!) and behind the highest peak closest to us… Needless to say, we were venturing into unchartered territory (i.e., bush-whacking, except without the whacking).
But it was worth it!
You can’t tell from the picture, but this was the only one of its kind for miles!