Many species were in bloom but less than last year and less impressive displays
Today’s wildflower excursion was Mines Road, part of San Antonio road and Del Puerto Canyon. I started outside of Livermore, CA and took Mines Road to the junction (site of the Junction Bar and Grill) and continued for about eight miles along San Antonio Road then doubled back to the junction and took Del Puerto Canyon out to I-80. The fields that normally have large displays were disappointing. There were some displays of Goldfields and Tidy Tips but nothing like in the good years in the past. The grasses are coming in fast and are competing with the flowers.
Species that were plentiful included California Poppy, White-thorn Ceanothus, Goldfields, Paintbrush, Sticky Monkey Flower, and Tidytips. To see the Tufted Poppies and Blazing Stars continue south past the junction for about seven and half miles and look at the rocky hillsides starting around 6 miles. The bright sun and strong winds made the day less than ideal for flower photography. There is plenty to see making it’s worth the trip, just don’t expect it to be like the best years of the past. If you are interested in visiting Mines Road, go this week as the sun, heat and wind will probably dry things out quickly. Although the road area is public, the land behind the fences is private. Please respect all fence lines and private property postings along the road.
The Mines Road area is included in the Flora of Mount Hamilton Range of California by Helen K. Sharsmith
The S.F. Chronicle published an article on driving Mines Road on February 15, 2009 by Tom Stienstra: http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-02-15/sports/17187695_1_bay-area-roads-east-bay-continue
To see my plant list for today click READ MORE
Plant list for April 30, 201a (all corrections are welcome): Yarrow Achillea millefolium, Bush Sunflower Ericameria linearfolia, Goldfields Lasthenia sp., Hairy Mule Ears Wyethia heleniodes, Fiddleneck Amsinckia sp.,Popcorn Plagiobothrys sp.,Wall Flower Erysimum capitatum,Blue Elderberry Sambucus mexicana,Yellow Lotus Lotus sp., 4 to 5 species of Lupine Lupinus sp.,Yerba Santa Eriodictyon californicum,Heliotrope Phacelia Phacelia distans,Chia Salvia columbariae,Lindley’s Blazing Star Mentzelia lindleyi,Blue Dicks Dichelostemma capitatum,California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica,Tufted Poppy Eschscholzia caespitosa,Linanthus sp.,Bird’s Eye Gilia Gilia tricolor,Royal Larkspur Delphinium variegatum,White Thorn Ceanothus Ceanothus leucodermis,Woodland Star Lithophragma affine,Paintbrush Castelleja affinis,Purple Owl’s Clover Castelleja exerta,Sticky Monkey Flower Mimulus aurantiacus,Yellow Monkey Flower Mimulus guttatus,Johnny Jump-up Triphysaria erianthus, California Buttercup Ranunculus californicus,Tomcat Clover Trifolium willdenovii,Tidy Tips Layia platyglossa,Chinese Houses Collinsia heterophylla, Purple Sanicle Sanicula bipinnatifida,,Yellow Lomatium Lomatia sp.,Linanthus sp., Lewesia sp.,Winecup Clarkia Clarkia purpurea, Chinese Houses Collinsia heterophylla, Ithuriel’s Spear Triteleia laxa, a yellow shrubby Lotus Lotus sp.,Jimson Weed Datura sp., and a tall whitish-pinkish Buckwheat Eriogonum sp.
Fairy Fans Clarkia brewer was not found.