Data are collected following the hiked path shown below and includes the immediate area.
One fertile flower (male or female), is all it takes to count a species in bloom.
We try to visit a lot of different areas, but areas with a better bloom may be visited more often.
It makes a huge difference if the bloom count is from a very dry badlands area, or from a place with a good rainfall or along a creek.
The data in the graph are averaged out over a couple of days, to show the actual daily bloom count in the graph, click on the legend on the right until only one is active (black).
With only one selected bars will pop up representing the daily bloom count.
The first wash is a rather narrow sand/mud-stone wash with a touch of the badlands.
Extra shade and sand/mud-stone a perfect place for plants.
Most of the Xylorhiza orcuttii / Orcutt's woody aster are in bloom.
Several Encelia farinosa X frutescens / Hybrid brittlebush, some in the middle, some closer to Encelia farinosa farinosa / Brittlebush.
The first wash is a sand/mud-stone wash, home to plenty of Asclepias albicans / White stemmed milkweed, the sandy diablo wash is home to Asclepias subulata / Rush milkweed.
On our way back we found a strange plant with very small flowers that might be a Asclepias albicans × subulata.
In the first wash there is plenty of germination and several blooming Aliciella latifolia latifolia / Broad leaf gilia and Chylismia claviformis peirsonii / Brown eyed primrose.
A single blooming Geraea canescens / Desert sunflower and Eremothera boothii condensata , Woody bottlewasher.
One of the goals, to revised the Pilostyles thurberi / Thurber's pilostyles we found blooming a couple of years ago.
The host plant is now dead, but we found several other host plants with fresh Pilostyles thurberi / Thurber's pilostyles, blooming very soon.
Again a single Astragalus insularis harwoodii / Harwood's milkvetch.
We were pleasantly surprised with the amount of bloom is the badland washes.
The washes are far from uniform, in between you find an oasis, were some plants are happy enough.
In one of the forks, we never checked before (there are simply too many of them), were 17 Xylorhiza orcuttii / Orcutt's woody aster in bloom, very happy in sand/mud-stone.
A highly tolerant plant is Astragalus crotalariae / Salton milkvetch, living were no one else wants to grow. We found many happy plants and one in bloom.
A very common plant that is starting it's bloom Atriplex hymenelytra / Desert holly, with the most visible blooming male plants.
A couple of years ago the bloom must have been very good, according to the many skeleton plants.
We found one reminder that this was once a military practice area. Certainly not all of the ammunition has been removed, like the one we found, once buried in the sand.
Bloom: Low, 13 different plants,good for the area.
December/17/2021 Bighorn Canyon - Blue Spring - Nolina Canyon Loop
This is a great loop with or without blooming plants.
The Ericameria paniculata Blackbanded rabbitbrush in Bighorn Canyon must have been in a good bloom, compared to almost absent in Nolina Canyon.
Pinyon wash and the bottom of Bighorn Canyon, a huge number of plants is host to Cuscuta californica papillosa , Chaparral dodder.
Bighorn Canyon is home to at least 50, clear Brickellia desertorum / Desert brickellbush.
Bighorn Canyon has some germination and the bloom is a bit better.
Down the too well traveled Nolina Canyon, many footprints make the wash softer. A huge contrast to Bighorn Canyon with a few footprints.
Here most of the Olneya tesota / Ironwood are struggling, most are host to Phoradendron californicum , Desert mistletoe.
Here you find many Ferocactus cylindraceus / California barrel cactus growing on dead mother plants.
A high number seem to be eaten at the bottom of the plants.
There sure are some desperately hungry Hare or Sheep out here.
Overall the population looks strong.
Bloom is at its end, the recent about 0.02 Inch rain will not change much.
Still we picked up way more flowering plants than expected in this dry looking area.
Bloom: Low, we picked up 22 different plants in bloom, often just a single plant.
We hiked clockwise and over the saddle we deviated from the route, going down the waterfalls.
Next taking a right turn over a saddle and down another wash to complete our loop.
This way we wouldn't duplicate Tom Chesters postings from 12/10.
The clockwise wash has one of the best drainages from Yaqui Ridge. This turned out to be a good guess, the bloom is good in the wash, but absent just outside the wash.
Most of the Condea emoryi / Desert lavender are in bloom even a couple of blooming Trixis californica californica / California trixis.
Many blooming Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry along the wash.
Also a good place to find Ayenia compacta / California ayenia in bloom. When in fruit and looking happy, it's often blooming, but the flowers are easy to overlook.
We knew we would encounter a couple of Scutellaria mexicana / Paperbag bush;Mexican bladder sage and yes a couple of them still in good bloom.
This is also the place to find many Euphorbia arizonica / Arizona spurge.
Ferocactus cylindraceus , California barrel cactus are among the best surviving plants in the desert.
We came across one Ferocactus cylindraceus that cloned itself into 11 new plants, forming a circle on top of the dead mother plant.
One of the reasons might be sheep, we found many Ferocactus cylindraceus eaten beyond what they can handle.
Bloom: Not bad, probably around 20 different plants, good for the time of year.
We wanted an easy hike, with some bloom.
On the southern part of the hike, the bloom was very low, but picking up in the northern part, with germination and blooming plants.
There are a lot of Asclepias subulata , Rush milkweed on this hike and most were at the end of bloom.
A surprising number of Krameria bicolor , White rhatany still in bloom.
Cuscuta psorothamnensis / Indigo bush dodder is almost always found on Psorothamnus schottii / Indigo bush, here we found some on Psorothamnus spinosus / Smoketree.
A patch of good blooming Abronia villosa villosa , Desert sand verbena.
Plenty of Cryptantha angustifolia , Narrow leaf cryptantha.
Some germinating Geraea canescens , Desert sunflower and one in bloom.
A lot of the Hesperocallis undulata , Desert lily are going dormant again, a bit of rain might change their mind.
A couple of Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster blooming as good as it gets.
If the area gets a bit more rain, we might get a good spring bloom here.
On our last hike we looked at these nice sandy washes and now it't time to check them out.
Bloom is good with many plants in bloom.
Like: Tiquilia palmeri / Palmer's crinklemat, some Psorothamnus schottii / Indigo bush, at the end of bloom Krameria bicolor / White rhatany, good blooming Cuscuta californica papillosa / Chaparral dodder.
We were off course alert to find Xylorhiza orcuttii / Orcutt's woody aster, and here they are a new colony with some in bloom.
This is also the most westerly of the Borrego Badlands colony.
Not common in the area:
A large and very happy Adenophyllum porophylloides / San Felipe dogweed.
One happy Justicia californica / Chuparosa.
A rare find, what must be a good population of Sphaeralcea angustifolia / Narrow leaf globemallow.
And a potential location for Lepidium flavum felipense / Blair Valley pepper-grass.
Cuscuta californica papillosa , Chaparral dodder isn't picky, but Cylindropuntia ramosissima / Diamond cholla is an odd host.
A hike in a couple of washes we've never hiked before.
Great narrow winding washes, a lot of non native plants closer to the Ant Hills.
Plant variety is low right now and about half of them is in bloom.
We needed a flower booster. The June Wash area is a sure bet.
June Wash is still good, but the lack of recent water and high temperatures is showing.
Germination is present in the June Wash, better in some of the other washes we hiked and totally absent in others.
Some Abronia villosa villosa , Desert sand verbena in bloom.
Krameria is at it last run, with some blooming plants.
Both Encelia farinosa farinosa , Brittlebush and Encelia frutescens frutescens , Button brittlebush are in bloom in the same area.
We were on the lookout for hybrids and sure found a perfect Encelia farinosa X frutescens , Hybrid brittlebush.
Chylismia claviformis peirsonii , Brown eyed primrose are doing fine and we found one Eremothera boothii condensata , Woody bottlewasher in bloom.
A lot of good blooming Psorothamnus schottii , Indigo bush.
December/03/2021 Johnson Canyon - PCT - California - Loop
Tom Chester found Ericameria nauseosa var. oreophila along the Lost Valley Road, so we had to check them out.
We first wanted to hike Collins benchmark, but the road is barred with a not entry sign for any purpose.
So we ended up in Johnson Canyon, accidentally hiking up an old forest road, along a canyon.
This is a nice forest area, with a good diversity.
Noticing we got closer and closer to one of our Manzanita points along the PCT, we followed the more and more obscured forest road.
A surprise to find such happy Keckiella ternata ternata , Whorled leaf penstemon.
Finally making it to the PCT.
The PCT always seem to take the longest route from A to B, this part took us much longer than expected.
Luckily the California Hiking and Horse Riding trail on the way back was more direct.
This sure is an interesting area to explore when it's less dry.
On our PCT hike we noticed the California Riding and Hiking trail, with the Johnson Canyon on the other side.
We didn't get as far, by car as initially expected, private property is blocking access to BLM and Cleveland National Forest.
We've not done this loop for 5 1/2 years.
As expected bloom is low, but you always pick up something in a longer 4 hour hike.
By the hundreds, Keckiella antirrhinoides microphylla , Little leaf chaparral beard tongue, not sure if we've ever seen so many on a hike.
The hike involves a rather steep climb at the end of the first canyon (about half way) and a field of Adenostoma fasciculatum, chamise. Luckily the chamise didn't grow too dense.
A revisit is certainly warranted, but it will probably never be as good as after the fire.
We wanted to check out the sand dunes north of Clark Dry Lake.
No germination at all, not even Brassica tournefortii , Sahara mustard;Asian mustard.
Except for some blooming Ditaxis neomexicana , New Mexico ditaxis close to the road, that germinated months ago.
We took pictures of ever single Lycium brevipes brevipes , Common desert thorn, the flower variation is higher than we liked.
This shows how difficult it is to ID Lycium from a single flower picture.
What we noticed: Flowers are smaller and the tube is longer than the average Lycium brevipes brevipes we find.
The frequent bloomer, hundreds of Larrea tridentata , Creosote bush with sometimes a good bloom.
Bloom is almost not existing, except for some Justicia californica , Chuparosa with a few flowers.
Some Fouquieria splendens splendens , Ocotillo are in bud and a sparse flower.
This area is live and die for Ferocactus cylindraceus , California barrel cactus, in a death struggle plants produce up to 5 clones, sometimes as branches, or at the bottom of the (almost) death mother plant.
Once in a while the mother Ferocactus cylindraceus does not die and now lives along it's clones.
We added many of these in the iNaturalist observations below.
Our goal, to widen the range of Arctostaphylos parryana desertica.
There is no detectable variation in all the Arctostaphylos parryana desertica we checked. We checked some fruit, from the plants, and we were unable to split any by hand.
We noticed that the young leaves were bright green, on the contrary to Arctostaphylos glandulosa were we didn't see color difference between younger and older leaves.
Another goal, to check the Brickellia.
They all turned out to be good Brickellia californica , California brickellbush.
To separate them from Brickellia desertorum: Find the largest leaves down the main stems, the leaves need to be at least 1/2 way down the main stem.
If you only find leaves (anywhere on the plant) that fit Brickellia desertorum and no leaves on the lower 1/2 of the main stem, check the bristles (fruit or flower) , if there are no flowers or fruit, the plant is inconclusive.
We didn't hike all the way to the peak, as we spend too much time checking Manzanita.
Bloom: Very low, but better than a couple of weeks ago.
The goal was to check Arctostaphylos glandulosa to find Arctostaphylos glandulosa adamsii and Arctostaphylos glandulosa glandulosa.
It seems that both are sticky, making the ID tricky as both attract dust, Arctostaphylos glandulosa adamsii might look partly glandular because of the dust.
Leaf color is some indication, but far from conclusive.
The good Arctostaphylos glandulosa fruit can be split by finger pressure. Ruling out Arctostaphylos parryana desertica.
We found many Keckiella ternata ternata , Whorled leaf penstemon, they seem to favor rocks and rabbits or deer favor them as many are grazed.
This is home to Ericameria cuneata macrocephala , Laguna mountains goldenbush, that maybe a month ago, must have bloomed spectacular.
November/20/2021 Culp Valley Springs to Jasper Trail loop
This is always an interesting hike up to the Jasper Trail.
We forgot how big the Ericameria cuneata spathulata , Wide leaf rock goldenbush are out here, living in boulders, most must have survived the fire.
Real surprising, the many Golden ear drops, Ehrendorferia chrysantha that are still alive and well, with some in bloom.
The hundreds of Malacothamnus enigmaticus , Enigmatic bushmallow are almost completely gone.
We wanted to explore a couple of washes close to Palm Spring.
There used to be 3 mature palms, now only 2 remain.
No sign of the rain that hit the June Wash area.
This is a nice scenic hike and we enjoy the scenery more with the lack of flowering plants.
We added a number of Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster to our list.
Our next stop: Little Devil Wash
An interesting wash, with a lot of skeleton plants, so maybe a revisit in prime time.
Again we added a good number of Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster to our list.
November/16/2021 Tarantula wash San Felipe creek loop
On our last trip we marked a drainage to explore.
Our trip took up a but further up the washes.
Many Larrea tridentata , Creosote bush are still in bloom.
Some good blooming Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed remain of the thousands that are done.
We wanted to widen the range of reported Euphorbia abramsiana , Abrams' spurge. Not too long ago we thought it to be a rare plant, but not here with plants all over in the thousands.
And not once a year but often found twice a year.
Driving the "road" further towards Fish Creek Mountains to see if we could find out the direction most of the water came from. We didn't find it.
The weird thing, there are no main washes. The Carrizo, Fish Creek washes spread out over a wide plain, leaving a large salt lake like area.
After a while they form gulleys and eventually wider and deeper washes ending in a Tamarix forest.
The San Felipe Wash and washes out of the Borrego Badlands are more defined but still cover a wide area.
November/13/2021 June - Arroyo Hueso and Tapiado Loop
We expected there would be some bloom in the area, but it's much better.
Most perennials, except trees and cacti are in bloom.
There is even wide spread germination, from rain and water flowing down the washes.
What's lacking is follow up rain, to make this a great spring bloom.
This is very very dry.
Along the long hike in rough terrain, we still found one blooming Diplacus longiflorus , Hairy bush monkeyflower, that found a sweet spot in between two boulders.
One Nolina parryi , Parry's nolina with a swinging flower stalk.
One blooming Monardella linoides linoides , Narrow leaf monardella in the shade.
Ericameria cuneata spathulata , Wide leaf rock goldenbush is one of the more reliable bloomers no matter what.
At Pena Spring a lot of blooming Erythranthe cardinalis , Scarlet monkeyflower.
A hike along Chariot Canyon (dry) creek.
Here we found the best (relative) bloom of the area.
Some odd bloom, like Monardella linoides linoides , Narrow leaf monardella and Rhus ovata , Sugar bush.
An certain area to revisit in spring.
November/9/2021 Tarantula wash San Felipe creek loop
We hiked a shorter alternative loop included in the GPX download.
The goal was to see if we could find Fort Mohave wild buckwheat, Eriogonum ordii skeletons (The plants might be something else, but key that way.). We did found skeletons but the results are inconclusive, like a maybe.
We did however find a good and interesting bloom.
At the start the sweet smell of blooming Tamarix aphylla , Athel tamarisk.
Not so pleasant smelling, from the blooming Suaeda nigra , Bush seepweed and Allenrolfea occidentalis , Iodine bush.
Surprisingly big blooming Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry.
Many blooming Palafoxia arida arida , Spanish needles.
Along our hike Euphorbia abramsiana , Abrams' spurge by the hundreds, this is certainly the hot spot with bloom often at the end of the year and by the end of Spring.
As always way WAY too many Tamarix ramosissima , Tamarisk often in bloom.
Bloom: Good for the time of year, about 15 different plants in good bloom. Warning many flowers are really tiny and spread over a large area.
November/8/2021 CRH - Soapstone Grade - Upper Green Valley - La Cima trail
As expected bloom is low, but the plant skeletons are interesting.
Some Epilobium canum latifolium , California fuchsia at the end of bloom.
A couple of blooming Eriogonum fasciculatum polifolium , California buckwheat, but mostly reddish.
One of the better bloomers is Eriogonum elongatum elongatum , Long stemmed buckwheat.
Our goal was to photograph Arctostaphylos glandulosa , Eastwood manzanita flower buds and find fruit.
This is as dry as it gets, bloom is almost not existing.
A lone blooming Agave deserti deserti , Desert agave.
Some Stephanomeria pauciflora , Wire lettuce and Ericameria cuneata spathulata , Wide leaf rock goldenbush.
A visit to a couple of prospects/mines.
One of the goals was to check Arctostaphylos / Manzanita.
Bloom is almost not existing.
Some interesting plants close to the car.
Here we found the tallest (> 2 Meter) Senecio flaccidus monoensis , Shrubby Butterweed;Mono groundsel we've ever seen.
Along the road we also found the prettiest Senecio flaccidus monoensis , Shrubby Butterweed;Mono groundsel we've ever seen, we didn't believe it when we noticed the yellow plant in the distance.
Bloom: Very low, slightly better in the wash close to the start.
A hike with a twist to follow up the skeletons of Linum lewisii lewisii , Prairie flax Don posted on iNaturalist and to check seeds of Petrorhagia dubia , Hairypink.
Instead of hiking along the road, we headed for the lake.
At the lake Typha latifolia , Broad leaf cattail dispersing seeds is a great sight.
Here we headed along the rocky creek and eventually meeting the road again.
We walked more or less along the road and at the crossing headed for the Fages Monument to check Petrorhagia dubia for seeds.
Picking up a lone blooming Trichostema parishii , Parish's bluecurls.
Here we also found many what looked like Gutierrezia californica , California matchweed, with a much larger looking flower.
Back cross country, hiking up Frasera parryi , Parry's green gentian hill.
Now following a drainage, completing the loop towards the lake.
YES, we found another Encelia Farinosa X frutescens , Hybrid brittlebush, that is now included in the Jepson Key.
Other interesting plants: Pilostyles thurberi , Thurber's pilostyles and a 4 flag Krameria bicolor , White rhatany.
We took a shortcut that shaved almost an hour of the otherwise long hike.
Here we found an exceptional display, of often fully blooming Krameria, a rare sight.
Bloom: Good for the time of year, many blooming plants in the wash.
October/30/2021 Blair Valley Mason Valley overlook loop
From the road this looked promising with some of the best Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed we've seen this season.
At the start of the hike things look good, but the fresh plants dropped considerably further on.
A persistent weak bloomer: Ericameria brachylepis , Boundary goldenbush.
The most interesting find a number of green/withe Euphorbia setiloba , Yuma spurge. We only see them once in a while this way.
Bloom low, some blooming plants closer to the road.
October/29/2021 Chico Ravine - Laguna - Agua Dulce Loop
Wow this looks very dry, maybe the driest place we've seen so far. The recent rain might not change much.
Quercus kelloggii , California black oak are preparing to get rid of their leaves, making for a nice colorful display.
There isn't much water left in big lake. What's left of the green stuff, is prime target for the cows.
Bloom very low, around 10 different plants, most is low numbers.
From the S2 the May 2021 fire seem to be have been small.
On the route there is some destruction of the several firebreaks.
The fire has covered most of the western part of the unnamed canyon we hiked in.
Otherwise the fire is surprisingly spotty.
The good thing, this will be an interesting spring 2022 hike.
The start is depressingly dry, but gets better closer to the hills and in washes.
Regrowth is spectacular, Krameria bicolor / White rhatany already close to 30 cm high, almost as high as a mature plant, but lacks much of it's original with.
Cacti seem to suffer more, but time will tell.
There sure will be an enormous amount of Argemone munita , Prickly poppy next spring.
An enormous number of good-looking Datura wrightii , Jimson weed and a good number of way beyond peak Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry.
This is prime Gutierrezia sarothrae , Matchweed terrain, plants are just past peak bloom.
We found another spring we missed last time, now the green spot is easy to see with a good pool water hidden in Schoenoplectus americanus , American tule.
Vast amounts of Distichlis spicata , Salt grass in both springs. .
Bloom low, around 20 different plants, most is low numbers.
Bloom is still relatively good, with hundreds of good blooming Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop and plenty of Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills.
That said plants are well past peak bloom, but a couple of weeks ago we made the same observation and things don't look that much worse.
Many very good looking and blooming Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry.
Look for the tiny flowers of Boerhavia wrightii , Wright's spiderling, most are done, but some are still in bloom.
October/23/2021 Blair Valley Granite Mountain Loop
Not too long ago this whole area was covered with Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed. Mainly around washes you still find a lot of fresh plants.
Lots of nice blooming Ericameria brachylepis , Boundary goldenbush, Allionia incarnata villosa , Large flowered trailing windmills and a very pretty Eriogonum plumatella , Yucca buckwheat.
We've been checking Boerhavia for a couple of weeks (there are hundreds of thousands) , so fare no luck finding the one we were searching for, until now. Boerhavia coulteri palmeri, Palmer's spiderling.
In Box Canyon proper, the bloom is actually not too bad.
It's still cool, time for a relaxed hike in the badlands.
There are enough interesting plants to explore, even if the bloom is low.
Especially Cylindropuntia echinocarpa , Golden cholla;Silver cholla look fresh and golden.
The loop consists of two combined hikes 1-5-17 palms and the link below.
This time we hiked along the edge of Whale Mountain, to find more Euphorbia revoluta , Rolled leaf spurge and we found many more.
Actually all kinds of Euphorbia are probably the best bloomer right now.
It's still sunny at the start and cold, the temps were probably close to freezing at the highest point of our hike.
If not for the temperature, sure enough with the wind blowing over the mountain.
The most visible bloom is Ericameria teretifolia , Green rabbitbrush that are at their best right now.
Amaranthus fimbriatus , Fringed amaranth all along our hike, thousands.
Some germination like Phacelia distans , Common phacelia, even one already in bloom.
Even out of bloom, Nolina parryi , Parry's nolina are spectacular.
Driving back towards Scissors Crossing some light rain.
At the start, maybe the best cactus area in the Anza Borrego Desert.
We expected a usual dry hike.
But soon lots of blooming Justicia californica , Chuparosa a rare sight at the moment.
The area is covered with Euphorbia pediculifera pediculifera , Carrizo mountain spurge and Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills.
Hibiscus denudatus , Rock hibiscus took us by surprise, most plants are in good bloom, wow.
All in all a much better than expected flower show, with plenty, probably too many rocks and boulders.
Bloom is low but good for the time of year, in the washes up to Whale Peak.
Driving into Coyote Canyon, things turn a bit greener past Alcoholic Pass.
Road is very good, and water is flowing in First up to Third Crossing.
Water flow is strong and a nice pool at Second Crossing.
The stream has shifted over the years, building a great jungle of scrubs, dead and alive.
Not too long ago it was easy to more or less follow the stream. Right now that's very difficult.
Fields of non-native grasses in and around the creek.
Plenty of small and more mature Tamarix ramosissima , Tamarisk.
What used to be a great flower creek, is a big disappointment at the moment.
Things were better a couple of weeks ago judging by the Pectis papposa papposa , Chinch weed.
Field of almost out of bloom Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills and Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop.
Most of the Chilopsis linearis arcuata , Desert willow are blooming.
Driving into Anza things don't look promising for our goal to find Mentzelia laevicaulis , Giant blazing star in bloom.
Every year the Coyote Canyon Road deteriorates and becomes more challenging.
We nowadays stop before Turkey Track, where the road hits the wash.
The road past our parking point is very interesting and we are glad to hike instead of driving.
Even the wash "road" into Horse Canyon, that used to be very good is now in very bad shape.
We've never seen Lepidospartum squamatum , Scale broom;California broomsage bloom this good.
The smell is very strong, too strong to be a pleasant smell.
It's dry and our guess a bit late for Mentzelia laevicaulis , Giant blazing star.
Our first point is up a steeper slippery slope and YES a blooming plant.
Interesting up there, more so while moving to the other side of the plant taking pictures, without crashing down the hill.
The ultimate proof, I was covered with dead Mentzelia leaves, almost impossible to get off the shift.
It's an almost dead looking plant with several flowers and buds.
Hiking up the wash, NO WAY a big plant right in the middle of the wash.
Plants all over, big plants, more than 30 alive or at least very recently.
This must be one of the better years for the plants; we've never seen so many.
A long 4 1/2 hour hike, at temperatures < 70 degrees and a light breeze, perfect hiking weather.
It's dry but not bad, with over 30 different plants in bloom.
The night before we had a sand storm and a very short heavy not measurable rain.
It was close to freezing in Ranchita when we found a couple of Oenothera californica avita , California evening primrose in bloom.
Dry dry, it looks very dry, almost no bloom except for the Eriogonum wrightii membranaceum , Wright's buckwheat.
Our goal was to find Heterotheca sessiliflora echioides, Bristly goldenaster.
YES we found several plants, but not on the iNaturalist location.
Surprisingly not a single blooming Cucurbita foetidissima , Stinking gourd and this is prime territory.
It's very dry, bloom almost not existing, except at springs.
On our last trip, this seems the place to be to see some kind of bloom.
Most of the trip is carpeted with Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop that were closed when we started our hike.
Past 9 A.M. they opened and pointed the flowers somewhat towards the sun.
Really surprising to see so many green and flowering Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills.
Interestingly most Krameria/Rhatany looked a bit like Psorothamnus schottii , Indigo bush, with almost the same color.
Very good looking, Physalis crassifolia , Thick leaf ground cherry.
Most noticeable plants in bloom:
Hundreds of Allionia incarnata incarnata , Small flowered trailing windmills (blooming early); Euphorbia, spurge; Boerhavia wrightii , Wright's spiderling.
Thousands of Kallstroemia californica , California caltrop (blooming past 9:30 A.M.) most plants are past peak bloom
The canyon walls covered with hundreds of Boerhavia wrightii , Wright's spiderling.
In the washes many blooming Asclepias subulata , Rush milkweed.
We tried to add all blooming plants to iNaturalist.
It's dry, bloom not to high, but above average, this might be one of the best spots in the badlands.
October/9/2021 Green Valley Falls - Sweetwater Loop
Close to our start a good blooming Arceuthobium campylopodum , Pine dwarf mistletoe.
Our goal was to find seed pods of Astragalus oocarpus , San Diego milkvetch and we found plenty.
Some blooming plants: Ericameria pinifolia , Pine goldenbush; Eriastrum sapphirinum sapphirinum , Sapphire woolly star and Gutierrezia sarothrae , Matchweed.
In pooling water we found one new plant: Mentha canadensis, American cornmint.
Driving up the Fish Creek Wash (Split Mountain) every single Chilopsis linearis arcuata , Desert willow was in bloom.
At the Anticline the Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster seems to be GONE.
On our way back we double checked and found something small still alive. We already noticed the plant never got any bigger in the dozens of years it' been at that spot, most like the best photographed Xylorhiza orcuttii , Orcutt's woody aster ever.
Plenty of signs of rain, even some water pooling at the start of the hike.
But... the plants look unusually bleak.
The Lycium andersonii, Anderson's desert thorn look dead, but it's more likely that we're simply too early and the plants are still mostly dormant.
Very fresh Krameria erecta , Pima rhatany, just out of bloom.
The best blooming plants in great numbers: Hoffmannseggia microphylla , Hoffmannseggia and Tidestromia suffruticosa oblongifolia , Arizona honeysweet.
This time around we could even smell the latter from a distant, not a pleasant smell, like a decomposing animal.
There are a spectacular number of skeletons of Chorizanthe rigida , Devil's spineflower and Eriogonum trichopes , Little desert trumpet.
On our return trip we visited the San Felipe Wash and Butte Pass Road, see above.
Heading up to Julian, we drove into a low cloud cover, this isn't looking good.
Things clear up as we pass Julian, some blue patches and a thin cloud cover.
Excellent hiking temps in the low 60's.
Things look drier than we've seen before, no sign of any water along the loop.
Bloom is certainly at the very end, with some nice Eriastrum sapphirinum sapphirinum , Sapphire woolly star.
Time to ID dead plants, interesting to see how they look all dried up.
The good thing, we had a good hike well within the planned 4 hours.
Driving up the Montazuma, plants look summer dry.
The Buck Canyon area looks dry, bloom is probably lower than the previous years.
The good stuff happens around a couple springs.
The goal was to find blooming Helianthus californicus , California sunflower and we found some in bloom, but just barely in time.
A bonus: one Heteromeles arbutifolia , Toyon with some flowers and a couple of Mentha spicata , Spearmint we've never seen in bloom before.
It's time for rushes to bloom like Juncus xiphioides , Iris leaf rush.
Our goal today: To find more Euphorbia revoluta , Rolled leaf spurge.
Driving up on the Pinyon Mnt road plants look dry, not a good sign.
We expected nothing or only skeletons, but we found > 10 healthy plants just past bloom.
Now back to the 2 point Tom Chester gave us a couple of years back.
YES more plants on the south side of the Pinyon Mnt exactly at Toms location, but very small plants.
We almost gave up hope and crossed over to the north side (Pinyon Mnt) to check on the Eriogonum apiculatum , San Jacinto buckwheat. We still needed basal leaves, but those were long gone.
This area is home to blooming Ericameria teretifolia , Green rabbitbrush.
We hiked east and looped back along Whale mountain on the south side of the Pinyon Mnt road.
Soon we found more and more Euphorbia revoluta, bigger and bigger plants in the hundreds.
Plants a lot bigger than we've seen before, enough plants to take a voucher of 2 large plants.
Bloom is low as expected this time of year. Bloom was obviously better a couple of weeks ago closer to the monsoonal rain
As soon as we passed Blair Valley dry lake, we noticed the many Funastrum cynanchoides hartwegii , Climbing milkweed green and in fruit a good sign for recent rain.
Wow a lot of water flowed on the road aka the wash, lots of soft sand making driving interesting.
Lots of good blooming Chilopsis linearis arcuata , Desert willow along the road.
Suddenly bigger rocks on the road, too large for us to try, still an 1 hour hike from our previous stop.
We just hit the epicenter of the bloom that we might have missed if we could drive to our regular parking spot.
The torrential flow was very visible by it's destruction and originates from Charriot mountain.
On the other side of Rodrigues canyon (Granite mountain) the bloom was good, but is now close to it's end.
The combination heavy rain and a recent fire made for a spectacular end of the year bloom. Probably as good as it gets this time of year.
Striking: The thousands of blooming Boerhavia triquetra intermedia , Fivewing spiderling and carpets of Allionia incarnata villosa , Large flowered trailing windmills.
The latter is puzzling, the good part of the canyon the plants key to subsp. villosa (flowers way over 2 cm Jepson Key) and the other side to incarnata (flowers 3 times smaller). As if the plants vary the flower size by growing conditions.
Pectis papposa papposa, everywhere, one side of the canyon blooming and the other side just a faint yellow glow.
Big fresh looking Amaranthus fimbriatus , Fringed amaranth everywhere.
Many Datura wrightii , Jimson weed.
The list goes on and on, check the iNaturalist observations for some of them.
Into the Oriflamme Canyon the bloom dropped considerably to mostly dry, except for the Epilobium canum latifolium , California fuchsia.
We almost forgot our main goal, checking the Malosma laurina , Laurel sumac, unfortunately, no bloom.
Tom Chester and group spend 2 days in the area and reported a couple of plants we've never seen in bloom before.
Our plan was to hike an easy loop up to Azalea Spring Loop along some of these plants.
We got distracted going cross country finding plants and ended up at Cuyamaca peak on a 5 hour hike.