California 2012 - Yosemite, Devils Postpile, Mammoth Lakes, Mono Lake, Half Moon Bay

Image Number Image (Click to Enlarge)CaptionImage Viewed
1 <b>The Light Family</b><br></br>

The Light Family

The Light Family
Kenny and I went to northern California (Silicon Valley area) in June 2012 to visit our son, daughter-in-law and 5-mo. old granddaughter in late June. While we were there we visited a few local parks.
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2 <b>Our granddaughter</b>

Our granddaughter

Our granddaughter Now that we have a new family member in California, we will be going out there a lot more often. Our granddaughter was 5 months old at the time of this trip. 1086
3 <b>Our son with his daughter</b>

Our son with his daughter

Our son with his daughter 983
4 <b>Palo  Alto Baylands</b>

Palo Alto Baylands

Palo Alto Baylands Since we are on Eastern Time in our part to Tennessee, Kenny and I often wake up at 4 AM the first few days when we visit California, which is 3 hours earlier. One morning we crept out of the house and went to see the shore birds at the Palo Alto Baylands. We hit it at low tide, perfect timing! 1078
5 <b>Night Heron </b><br><i>Nycticorax nycticorax</i></br>

Night Heron
Nycticorax nycticorax

Night Heron
Nycticorax nycticorax I was delighted to watch this Night Heron as it stalked the shallow water for fish at the Palo Alto Baylands. I had never been able to get so close to one of these birds before. It is amazing how still these birds can stand while they wait for fish to swim by! It did not move a muscle for several minutes. I like the long white plume on its head.
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6 <b>American Avocets </b><br><i>Recurvirostra americana</i></br>

American Avocets
Recurvirostra americana

American Avocets
Recurvirostra americana It was fun to watch these American Avocets as they waded through the water swishing their beaks back and forth as they hunted for food.
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7 <b>Black-necked Stilt</b> <br><i>Himantopus mexicanus</i><br>

Black-necked Stilt
Himantopus mexicanus

Black-necked Stilt
Himantopus mexicanus
I like to watch these funny wading birds as they swish their long beaks in the water in search of food. I thought the reflection of this bird was interesting.
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8 <b>Rancho San Antonio Open Space</b>

Rancho San Antonio Open Space

Rancho San Antonio Open Space Despite the fact that the San Francisco Bay / Silicon Valley area is highly populated, there are numerous parks and open spaces scattered about. This Open Space is a large former ranch, it has a working farm with several different farm animals. It has miles of walking trails, but since we had our granddaughter in her stroller, we didn't go too far. 1101
9 <b>Park sign </b>

Park sign

Park sign It is a bit unnerving to read some of the warning signs in the open areas in the Bay Area! Even though the nearby communities are highly populated, there are still wild animals in the open space parks. Fortunately, we didn't see a mountain lion, but we did see California Quail, Acorn Woodpeckers and wild turkeys. 1096
10 <b>Rancho San Antonio Wild Turkey</b> <br><i>Meleagris gallopavo</i></br>

Rancho San Antonio Wild Turkey
Meleagris gallopavo

Rancho San Antonio Wild Turkey
Meleagris gallopavo We saw a flock of male wild turkeys as we walked on the trail at Rancho San Antonio.
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11 <b>California Quail - male</b> <br><i>Callipepla californica</i></br>

California Quail - male
Callipepla californica

California Quail - male
Callipepla californica Finally, after several years of trying to photograph one of these shy, elusive birds, I got my opportunity at the open space park. The male has a curved, black topknot (unfortunately, I would have to photograph it against a black background so it didn't show up well!). I also saw the female and several chicks nearby.
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12 <b>Female California Quail  and chick</b>

Female California Quail and chick

Female California Quail and chick This is the female California Quail with one of her many chicks. The chicks are very well-camouflaged. 1155
13 <b>Pomegranate flower</b><br> <i> Punica granatum</i></br>

Pomegranate flower
Punica granatum

Pomegranate flower
Punica granatum I love eating pomegranates, so I was excited to see the flower that they come from. They are not native to the United States, but lots of them are grown in California. clr: 4-o
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14 <b>Fremontia</b> <br><i>Fremontodendron californicum</i></br><br>June 25, 2012</br>

Fremontia
Fremontodendron californicum
June 25, 2012

Fremontia
Fremontodendron californicum
June 25, 2012 This beautiful, large yellow flower grows on a shrub. We see these shrubs along the bike trail in Mountain View. I was happy to finally find it in a wildflower book. clr: 5-y
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15 <b>Coyote Hills Park</b>

Coyote Hills Park

Coyote Hills Park Coyote Hills Regional Park is another nice open space in the lower San Francisco Bay area. Our daughter-in-law and granddaughter enjoyed a walk along one of the paved paths. Grandpa Kenny was delighted to carry his grandbaby too! Even though it was late June, the weather was quite cool and breezy. The hills are golden brown during the during the dry season from May until November. Some day I want to see the hills of California cloaked in green. 1066
16 <b>Coyote Hills Park</b>

Coyote Hills Park

Coyote Hills Park This beautiful regional park is located on the southeast shore of San Francisco Bay. It has several miles of hiking trails that follow the tops of the hills, through the meadows, and into the wetlands. This is a wonderful area to enjoy seeing many different kinds of birds. We have seen herons, ducks, coots, barn swallows, various hawks, and Scrub Jays. There is a lovely butterfly garden next to the visitor center where hummingbirds are often seen. 1038
17 <b>Scrub Jay </b><br> <i>Aphelocoma coerulescens</i></br>

Scrub Jay
Aphelocoma coerulescens

Scrub Jay
Aphelocoma coerulescens This Scrub Jay joined us at our picnic on the grounds of Coyote Hills Park.
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18 <b>Yerba Mansa</b><br> <i>Anemopsis californica</i>

Yerba Mansa
Anemopsis californica

Yerba Mansa
Anemopsis californica This is an aquatic plant that I found growing along a lake shore at a city park in Mountain View. clr: 1-w
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19 <b>Stanford University</b>

Stanford University

Stanford University Kenny and I enjoyed visiting Stanford University at Palo Alto. The grounds are beautiful. 1006
20 <b>Black squirrel</b><br> <i>Sciurus carolinensis</i></br>

Black squirrel
Sciurus carolinensis

Black squirrel
Sciurus carolinensis These squirrels are a melanistic subspecies of the common gray squirrel. They are common in Mountain View.
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21 <b>Wind turbines</b>

Wind turbines

Wind turbines It is not unusual to see hundreds (sometimes nearly a thousand) of wind turbines on the hillsides and tops in California. The strong prevailing winds from the Bay keep them spinning. We saw these as we were driving east on our way to Yosemite National Park. 1010
22 <b>California Gold</b>

California Gold

California Gold The golden hills and pale blue sky of California gave the University of Southern California (USC) their team colors. The trees are spread out due to the dry conditions. 1041
23 <b>The highway to Yosemite National Park </b>

The highway to Yosemite National Park

The highway to Yosemite National Park The road to Yosemite got very interesting as we began to climb the foothills of the Sierras. This curvy, narrow highway would be very bad for people prone to carsickness! Fortunately, we don't have that problem! This photo was shot from the car window, there was not a place to pull over and stop to get a better shot. 1064
24 <b>Ball-head Gilia</b><br> <i>Gilia congesta var. crebrifolia</i></br><br>June 28, 2012</br>

Ball-head Gilia
Gilia congesta var. crebrifolia
June 28, 2012

Ball-head Gilia
Gilia congesta var. crebrifolia
June 28, 2012 I found this plant blooming at a rest area near Mammoth Lakes, CA. I never pass up a chance to look for wildflowers! clr: 1-w
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25 <b>Mammoth Mountain Ski Area</b>

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area The second week of the trip we stayed at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in Mammoth Lakes, California. We stayed in a nice suite and had a great view of the mountain. During the summer the mountain is open for hiking and mountain biking. The gondola runs for visitors who want to go to the summit. I finally found out the night before we left why it is called Mammoth Mountain; if you look at the rock formation on the side of the mountain at the right angle, there is a "mammoth" figure visible. I outlined it in red in this photo. 1075
26 <b>Mammoth on mountain</b>

Mammoth on mountain

Mammoth on mountain If you use your imagination, you can make out the outline of a mammoth with a long trunk and short legs. The building on the top of the mountain is the gondola station and restaurant at the ski resort. Mammoth Mountain, like many of the other mountains nearby, is an ancient volcano. Much of the rock in the area is pumice from early eruptions. 1081
27 <b>Sierra moonset</b>

Sierra moonset

Sierra moonset I am NOT an early morning person, so I was a bit peeved when Kenny woke me at 5:00 one morning when we were staying at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. I guess it was my fault, the night before we had gone up the road above the ski resort to see the sunset on the mountain range called the Minarets. I was not as impressed as I thought would be after having read that was a "must-do" activity. The light was at a bad angle and I mentioned that it would be much more impressive at sunrise. When we got to the overlook I gasped when I saw the full moon slowly sinking behind the jagged mountains. When I saw that spectacular sight and the sunrise that followed, I was glad he woke me! 977
28 <b>Sierra sunrise</b>

Sierra sunrise

Sierra sunrise Just before the sun rose above the horizon, there was a lovely blue and pink hue over the mountains. 1039
29 <b>Minarets  with alpineglow</b>

Minarets with alpineglow

Minarets with alpineglow Minutes later the sunrise painted the Minarets pink with lovely alpineglow. 1066
30 <b>Devils Postpile National Monument</b>

Devils Postpile National Monument

Devils Postpile National Monument Kenny and I enjoyed seeing the spectacular columns at Devils Postpile. I had heard of this park for many years and looked forward to seeing it. We were surprised to learn that the park had reopened the day we went (July 3), it had been closed since the previous November due to a freak windstorm that felled many acres of trees there and in Yosemite. 1098
31 <b>Devils Postpile National Monument</b>,<br> Mammoth Lakes, California</br>

Devils Postpile National Monument,
Mammoth Lakes, California

Devils Postpile National Monument,
Mammoth Lakes, California Devils Postpile National Monument is located in Mammoth Lakes, California. Visitors must ride a bus from Mammoth Mountain ski resort during much of the year to avoid having to drive on the long, narrow, steep mountain roads. The highlight of the park is the fascinating hexagonal basalt columns.
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32 <b>Devils Postpile National Monument</b>

Devils Postpile National Monument

Devils Postpile National Monument The top of the basalt columns at Devils Postpile is fascinating! During the Ice Ages, glaciers scoured the columns and smoothed them off leaving patterns that look like the surface of a soccer ball! 1134
33 <b>Pride of the Mountain Penstemon</b><br> <i>Penstemon newberryi</i></br>

Pride of the Mountain Penstemon
Penstemon newberryi

Pride of the Mountain Penstemon
Penstemon newberryi This pretty bright pink wildflower is very common in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I liked how these were blooming amid the basalt columns at Devils Postpile National Monument.
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34 <b>Velvety Stickseed</b><br> <i>Hackelia velutina</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Velvety Stickseed
Hackelia velutina
June 29, 2012

Velvety Stickseed
Hackelia velutina
June 29, 2012 I spotted this pretty pink flower growing along the trail near the base of the Devils Postpile columns. It is related to Forget-Me-Not. clr: 3-p
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35 <b>Bolander's Yampah</b><br><i>Perideridia bolanderi</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Bolander's Yampah
Perideridia bolanderi
June 30, 2012

Bolander's Yampah
Perideridia bolanderi
June 30, 2012 This flower looks a bit like Queen Anne's Lace, it is in the same family. It is a fairly common western wildflower. I found this flower blooming in Yosemite. clr: 1-w
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36 <b>Dusky Horkelia</b><br> <i>Horkelia fusca</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Dusky Horkelia
Horkelia fusca
June 29, 2012

Dusky Horkelia
Horkelia fusca
June 29, 2012 I found this plant blooming at the Devils Postpile National Monument. clr: 1-w
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37 <b>Slender Larkspur</b> <br> <i>Delphinium gracilentium</i></br><br>June 29, 2012

Slender Larkspur
Delphinium gracilentium
June 29, 2012

Slender Larkspur
Delphinium gracilentium
June 29, 2012 This Larkspur was seen at Devils Postpile National Monument. clr: 8-v
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38 <b>Alumroot</b><br> <i>Heuchera rubescens</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Alumroot
Heuchera rubescens
June 29, 2012

Alumroot
Heuchera rubescens
June 29, 2012 This Alumroot was growing on a cliff along the steps that went to the base of Rainbow Falls. clr: 1-w
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39 <b>Fire damage</b>

Fire damage

Fire damage We were amazed when we read the trail sign that told about the damage we saw as we hiked from Devils Postpile to Rainbow Falls. The fire that damaged the trees ahead of us had burned in 1992! This shows how long it takes for many western forests to recover from a major fire. In 20 years, only a few small evergreens had begun to grow. 1177
40 <b>Dusty Maidens</b><br> <i>Chaenactis douglasii</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Dusty Maidens
Chaenactis douglasii
June 29, 2012

Dusty Maidens
Chaenactis douglasii
June 29, 2012 Dusty Maidens grow well in the pumice soil of the Mammoth Lakes area. The tiny flowers are almost the same color as the pumice. clr: 1-w
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41 <b>Wooly Sunflower</b><br> <i>Eriophyllum lanatum</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Wooly Sunflower
Eriophyllum lanatum
June 29, 2012

Wooly Sunflower
Eriophyllum lanatum
June 29, 2012 I found this plant blooming along the trail to Rainbow Falls at Devils Postpile National Monument.
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42 <b>Sticky Cinquefoil</b> <br><i>Potentilla glandulosa</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Sticky Cinquefoil
Potentilla glandulosa
June 29, 2012

Sticky Cinquefoil
Potentilla glandulosa
June 29, 2012 This plant was blooming along the trail to Rainbow Falls in Devils Postpile National Monument. clr: 1-w
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43 <b>Mountain Pennyroyal</b> <br><i> Monardella odoratissima</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Mountain Pennyroyal
Monardella odoratissima
June 29, 2012

Mountain Pennyroyal
Monardella odoratissima
June 29, 2012 Mountain Pennyroyal is in the Mint Family and has a very strong, distinctive aroma. I found this plant growing at Devils Postpile National Monument. clr: 8-v
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44 <b>Mule Ears</b><br> <i>Wyethia mollis</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Mule Ears
Wyethia mollis
June 29, 2012

Mule Ears
Wyethia mollis
June 29, 2012 Mule Ears get their common name from the large, pointed leaves. This plant is seen in in mountainous regions of many western states. clr: 5-y
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45 <b>Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel</b> <br> <i> Callospermophilus lateralis</i></br>

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Callospermophilus lateralis

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Callospermophilus lateralis These cute little animals look like chipmunks, but they are squirrels that live in burrows in the ground. They often beg for food at heavily visited areas. Feeding wild rodents is dangerous for both the animals and people. Often the squirrels take food back to their burrow, much of the human food that they stored for winter will decay causing the animals to starve to death. Some ground squirrels carry the deadly bubonic plague bacterium, if the fleas that have fed on them bite people, they can spread the disease.
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46 <b>Rainbow Falls</b>

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls If you arrive at Rainbow Falls at the right time of day, it is easy to see how it got its name. The spray from the 101-foot waterfall refracts the sunlight into a beautiful rainbow. A 2-mile hike is required to reach the waterfall from the Devils Postpile National Monument ranger station. 1032
47 <b>Rainbow Falls steps</b>

Rainbow Falls steps

Rainbow Falls steps There were lots and lots of steep steps on the trail to the bottom of Rainbow Falls. It was worth the effort of going up and down to see the beautiful view! 1006
48 <b>The base of Rainbow Falls </b>

The base of Rainbow Falls

The base of Rainbow Falls 1059
49 <b>Jessica's stickseed</b> <br> <i> Hackelia micrantha</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Jessica's stickseed
Hackelia micrantha
June 29, 2012

Jessica's stickseed
Hackelia micrantha
June 29, 2012 I kept thinking this was a type of Forget-Me-Not, so I had trouble identifying it. This plant is in the same family. clr: 7-b
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50 <b>Dwarf Honeysuckle</b><br> <i>Lonicera conjugalis</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Dwarf Honeysuckle
Lonicera conjugalis
June 29, 2012

Dwarf Honeysuckle
Lonicera conjugalis
June 29, 2012 I found this shrub blooming at the riverside below Rainbow Falls at Devils Postpile National Monument. clr: 9-m
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51 <b>False Solomons Seal</b><br> <i>Smilacina racemosa</i></br></br>June 29, 2012</br>

False Solomons Seal
Smilacina racemosaJune 29, 2012

False Solomons Seal
Smilacina racemosaJune 29, 2012 This is another wildflower that I saw blooming along the steps to the base of Rainbow Falls.
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52 <b>Mountain Sorrel</b><br> <i>Oxyria digyna</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Mountain Sorrel
Oxyria digyna
June 29, 2012

Mountain Sorrel
Oxyria digyna
June 29, 2012 This plant was growing in dense shade on the cliff near the trail that led to the base of Rainbow Falls. clr: 9-m
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53 <b>Leichtlin's Mariposa Lily </b> <br><i>Calochortus minimus</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Leichtlin's Mariposa Lily
Calochortus minimus
June 29, 2012

Leichtlin's Mariposa Lily
Calochortus minimus
June 29, 2012 I squealed with delight when I spotted this beautiful lily blooming along the trail as we were hiking to Rainbow Falls! It was one of my "target plants", a flower that I had wanted to see for many years. I was surprised to see it quite often in the Sierras after that day. clr: 1-w
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54 <b>Kris  with a Mariposa Lily </b>

Kris with a Mariposa Lily

Kris with a Mariposa Lily I was so happy to see this flower, I had Kenny take a photograph of me with it! 1106
55 <b>Ohlmsted Point erratics in Yosemite National Park</b>

Ohlmsted Point erratics in Yosemite National Park

Ohlmsted Point erratics in Yosemite National Park Kenny and I had been to Yosemite in October 2003. This trip was much better because there was water in all of the waterfalls in the valley and there were LOTS of different wildflowers in bloom. Ohlmsted Point is one of the famous overlooks at Yosemite National Park. It is interesting to see the lone granite boulders called "erratics", huge stones left behind by receding glaciers. Half Dome can be seen far in the distance in the center of the photo. 1048
56 <b>Spirea</b> <br><i>Spirea densiflora</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Spirea
Spirea densiflora
June 30, 2012

Spirea
Spirea densiflora
June 30, 2012 I found this plant growing at Ohlmsted Point in Yosemite. It is amazing how some of the plants are happy growing in the cracks in granite. clr: 3-p
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57 <b>Granite cracks</b>

Granite cracks

Granite cracks Granite is very hard rock, but it can crack and "peel" like layers of an onion. Rockfalls are not uncommon in Yosemite. 1026
58 <b>Glacier-smoothed granite</b>

Glacier-smoothed granite

Glacier-smoothed granite Glaciers smoothed this granite tens of thousands of years ago. The ice contained lots of sand, pebbles and rock dust that it picked up as the glacier moved along the solid rock. It worked much like sandpaper. In some areas the rock is shiny and often has marks (stripes) that indicate the direction the glacier was moving. 1076
59 <b>Mousetails</b> <br><i>Ivesia santolinoides</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Mousetails
Ivesia santolinoides
June 30, 2012

Mousetails
Ivesia santolinoides
June 30, 2012 I love the name of this interesting little wildflower! The common name comes from the long, thin, round leaves. It is perfectly happy growing in the thin soil between the blocks of granite. clr: 1-w
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60 <b>Pride-of-the-Mountain</b> <br><i>Penstemon newberryi</i> </br>

Pride-of-the-Mountain
Penstemon newberryi

Pride-of-the-Mountain
Penstemon newberryi These beautiful bright pink Penstemons bloom in cracks in the rocks in the Sierras.
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61 <b>Tuolomne Meadows fog </b>

Tuolomne Meadows fog

Tuolomne Meadows fog Crazy as it sounds, we went to Yosemite on the 4th of July. We got an early start and arrived in the park not long after sunrise. The fog over Tuolomne Meadows was so pretty. I shot this from the car as we drove to the Valley. 1042
62 <b>Showy Milkweed</b> <br> <i>Asclepias speciosa</i></br>

Showy Milkweed
Asclepias speciosa

Showy Milkweed
Asclepias speciosa This was the first wildflower I saw when we drove into the Yosemite Valley. I couldn't wait to stop and see it. clr: 3-p
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63 <b>Showy Milkweed</b> <br> <i>Asclepias speciosa</i></br>

Showy Milkweed
Asclepias speciosa

Showy Milkweed
Asclepias speciosa These are large milkweed flowers.
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64 <b>Upper Yosemite Falls</b>

Upper Yosemite Falls

Upper Yosemite Falls We were thrilled to see the waterfalls this time, when we were in Yosemite in October 2003 all but one were dry. 933
65 <b>Upper  Yosemite Falls </b>

Upper Yosemite Falls

Upper Yosemite Falls Upper Yosemite Falls is 1,430 feet high, the water plunges to the Middle Cascades before falling again to the Lower Falls. 985
66 <b>Lower Yosemite Falls </b>

Lower Yosemite Falls

Lower Yosemite Falls Seeing the 320-foot Lower Yosemite Falls requires a short, easy walk through the woods. 1115
67 <b>Tincture Plant</b><br><i>Collinsia tinctoria</i></br>

Tincture Plant
Collinsia tinctoria

Tincture Plant
Collinsia tinctoria It is a pretty good walk from the parking lot to Lower Yosemite Falls. I was on the lookout for wildflowers along the way when I spotted this one. clr: 1-w
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68 <b>Yosemite Valley</b>

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley This is one of the iconic images of Yosemite National Park, with a spectacular view of Bridal Veil Falls (right) and El Capitan (left) in Yosemite Valley. 1024
69 <b>El Capitan climbers</b>

El Capitan climbers

El Capitan climbers The massive granite El Capitan is popular for rock climbers. Visitors to Yosemite often stop along the valley road and watch as the climbers scale it. This photo was taken with a 500mm telephoto lens and it is still difficult to see the climbers. 1070
70 <b>Bridal Veil Falls </b>

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls This is another of the spectacular waterfalls in Yosemite Valley. It is 620 feet high. 1022
71 <b>Acorn Woodpecker</b><br><i>Melanerpes formicivorus</i></br>

Acorn Woodpecker
Melanerpes formicivorus

Acorn Woodpecker
Melanerpes formicivorus These are such comical-looking birds with their white eyes, black "beard" and red skull caps! These woodpeckers chisel out holes in trees or utility poles to store acorns in for the winter.
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72 <b>Gaping Keckellia</b><br><i>Keckiella breviflora</i></br><br>July 4, 2012</br>

Gaping Keckellia
Keckiella breviflora
July 4, 2012

Gaping Keckellia
Keckiella breviflora
July 4, 2012 I spotted this wildflower as we were walking on the trail to Vernal Falls in Yosemite.
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73 <b>Vernal Falls trail crowd</b>

Vernal Falls trail crowd

Vernal Falls trail crowd We knew the park would be crowded when we went to Yosemite on July 4th, but we were still amazed at the amount of people were on the trail! We have never seen that many people on a trail in the Smokies! 976
74 <b>Vernal Falls</b>

Vernal Falls

Vernal Falls Vernal Falls is 317 feet tall. It is a very popular waterfall that requires a 1.3 mile hike (one way) to enjoy the view. 1036
75 <b>Ground Squirrel</b> <br><i>Otospermophilus beecheyi</i></br>

Ground Squirrel
Otospermophilus beecheyi

Ground Squirrel
Otospermophilus beecheyi These little squirrels were pesky little panhandlers near Vernal Falls in Yosemite.
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76 <b>Coneflower</b>

Coneflower

Coneflower 1083
77 <b>Foxglove<b>  <i>Digitalis purpurea</i>

Foxglove Digitalis purpurea

Foxglove Digitalis purpurea Foxglove is a non-native plant. The heart drug digitalis is made from the leaves of this plant. I found this one blooming in Yosemite Valley. 1162
78 <b>Golden Brodiaea</b> <br><i>Brodiaea lutea scabra</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Golden Brodiaea
Brodiaea lutea scabra
June 30, 2012

Golden Brodiaea
Brodiaea lutea scabra
June 30, 2012 Yosemite National Park is a treasure trove of wildflowers. I saw nearly 60 flowers that were new to me, they helped bump up my lifelist! We were in the park the first week of July and learned the flowers had just begun to bloom in the higher elevations. clr: 5-y
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79 <b>Small Leopard Lily</b><br><i>Lilium parvum</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Small Leopard Lily
Lilium parvum
June 30, 2012

Small Leopard Lily
Lilium parvum
June 30, 2012 I was excited to find this beautiful orange lily blooming along the creek below Yosemite Falls. clr: 4-o
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80 <b>Pinedrops</b><br><i>Pterospora andromedea</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Pinedrops
Pterospora andromedea
June 30, 2012

Pinedrops
Pterospora andromedea
June 30, 2012 This unusual plant is a saprophyte, it contains no chlorophyll so it must get its nutrients from decaying plant material in the soil. I found it growing in the woods along the trail to Lower Yosemite Falls.
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81 <b>Camas Lily</b><br><i>Camassia leichtlinii</i></b><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Camas Lily
Camassia leichtlinii
June 30, 2012

Camas Lily
Camassia leichtlinii
June 30, 2012 This beautiful blue wildflower was one of those nice surprises that I found when I was looking for another one. I am so fortunate to have a very patient husband who will (usually) stop the car so I can get out and look for wildflowers. clr: 7-b
1303
82 <b>Star Tulip</b><br><i>Calochortus nudus</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Star Tulip
Calochortus nudus
June 30, 2012

Star Tulip
Calochortus nudus
June 30, 2012 This was another nice surprise when I was tromping around in the woods near a wet meadow. clr: 1-w
1325
83 <b>Anderson's Thistle</b><br><i>Cirsium andersonii</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Anderson's Thistle
Cirsium andersonii
June 30, 2012

Anderson's Thistle
Cirsium andersonii
June 30, 2012 This was blooming in the woods in Yosemite. clr: 3-p
1289
84 <b>Sticky Cinquefoil</b><br><i> Potentilla glandulosa</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Sticky Cinquefoil
Potentilla glandulosa
June 29, 2012

Sticky Cinquefoil
Potentilla glandulosa
June 29, 2012 I found this wildflower at Devils Postpile National Monument. clr: 1-w
1136
85 <b>Carpet Clover</b><br><i>Trifolium monanthum</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Carpet Clover
Trifolium monanthum
June 30, 2012

Carpet Clover
Trifolium monanthum
June 30, 2012 This was a common roadside wildflower in Yosemite. clr: 1-w
1272
86 <b>Grand Collomia</b><br><i>Collomia grandiflora</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Grand Collomia
Collomia grandiflora
June 30, 2012

Grand Collomia
Collomia grandiflora
June 30, 2012 This was another nice "side-of-the-road surprise". The flowers range from a pale orange to white depending on their age. clr: 4-o
1318
87 <b>Sierra Gooseberry</b><br><i>Ribes roezlii</i></br>

Sierra Gooseberry
Ribes roezlii

Sierra Gooseberry
Ribes roezlii I found these spiky gooseberries near the Visitor Center in Yosemite Valley.
1076
88 <b>Granite Gilia</b><br><i>Leptodactylon pungens</i></br><br>July 3, 2012</br

Granite Gilia
Leptodactylon pungens
July 3, 2012

Granite Gilia
Leptodactylon pungens
July 3, 2012 This flower grows in the high elevations of the Sierras. clr: 1-w
1348
89 <b>Alpine Goldenrod</b><br><i>Solidago multiradiata</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Alpine Goldenrod
Solidago multiradiata
June 30, 2012

Alpine Goldenrod
Solidago multiradiata
June 30, 2012 This plant was growing along the trail in Tuolomne Meadows at Yosemite. clr: 5-y
1364
90 <b>Satin Lupine</b><br><i>Lupinus obtusilobus</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Satin Lupine
Lupinus obtusilobus
June 30, 2012

Satin Lupine
Lupinus obtusilobus
June 30, 2012 There are many different species of lupines in the western states, some can be very difficult to identify. clr: 8-v
1294
91 <b>Small Larkspur</b><br><i>Delphinium depauperatum</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Small Larkspur
Delphinium depauperatum
June 29, 2012

Small Larkspur
Delphinium depauperatum
June 29, 2012 I found this flower blooming at Devils Postpile. clr: 8-v
1251
92 <b>Mountain Misery</b><br><i>Chamaebatia foliolosa</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</>

Mountain Misery
Chamaebatia foliolosa
June 30, 2012>

Mountain Misery
Chamaebatia foliolosa
June 30, 2012> One sniff of this plant and you will quickly find out how it got its common name! If the leaves are crushed, they give off a very foul odor. Unfortunate hikers who step on the plants will carry the odor on their boots or clothes.
1032
93 <b>Blue Penstemon</b><br><i>Penstemon cyaneus</i></br><br>July 1, 2012</br>

Blue Penstemon
Penstemon cyaneus
July 1, 2012

Blue Penstemon
Penstemon cyaneus
July 1, 2012 This was a very common wildflower in the Mammoth Lakes region. It has large, pretty blue flowers. clr: 7-b
1252
94 <b>Nodding Microseris</b><br><i>Microseris nutans</i></br><br>July 1, 2012</br>

Nodding Microseris
Microseris nutans
July 1, 2012

Nodding Microseris
Microseris nutans
July 1, 2012 I found these flowers blooming in the woods near Mammoth Lakes. clr: 5-y
1280
95 <b>Hairy Owls Clover</b><br><i>Castilleja tenuis</i></br><br><June 29, 2012</br>

Hairy Owls Clover
Castilleja tenuis

Hairy Owls Clover
Castilleja tenuis
This little yellow flower was blooming along the trail to Rainbow Falls at Devils Postpile. clr: 5-y
1324
96 <b>Spring Gold</b><br><i>Crocidium multicaule</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Spring Gold
Crocidium multicaule
June 30, 2012

Spring Gold
Crocidium multicaule
June 30, 2012 This plant was blooming in Yosemite. clr: 5-y
1221
97 <b>Pussypaws</b><br><i>Calyptridium umbellatum</i></br><br>June 28, 2012</br>

Pussypaws
Calyptridium umbellatum
June 28, 2012

Pussypaws
Calyptridium umbellatum
June 28, 2012 The common name is very fitting for these puffy-looking flowers! These were the first wildflowers I photographed in Yosemite on this trip. clr: 3-p
1216
98 <b>Scarlet Penstemon</b><br><i>Penstemon rostriflorus</i><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Scarlet Penstemon
Penstemon rostriflorus
June 29, 2012

Scarlet Penstemon
Penstemon rostriflorus
June 29, 2012 I found these pretty bright red flowers blooming in Devils Postpile National Monument. At first glance, it can be easy to confuse them with Scarlet Gilia.
1094
99 <b>Meadow Penstemon</b><br><i>Penstemon rydbergii</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Meadow Penstemon
Penstemon rydbergii
June 30, 2012

Meadow Penstemon
Penstemon rydbergii
June 30, 2012 This penstemon was growing in Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite. clr: 8-v
1238
100 <b>Monument Plant; Deer's Tongue</b><br><i>Swertia radiata</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br.

Monument Plant; Deer's Tongue
Swertia radiata
June 30, 2012

Monument Plant; Deer's Tongue
Swertia radiata
June 30, 2012 I was excited to find this plant growing near the soda springs in Tuolumne Meadows. I had seen it blooming in Yellowstone NP when we were there in 1993. clr: 6-g
1216
101 <b>Monument Plant; Deer's Tongue</b><br><i>Swertia radiata</i></br>

Monument Plant; Deer's Tongue
Swertia radiata

Monument Plant; Deer's Tongue
Swertia radiata This is a close-up of the flowers.
1113
102 <B>Soda Springs in Yosemite National Park</b>

Soda Springs in Yosemite National Park

Soda Springs in Yosemite National Park The carbonated soda springs bubble up from the ground at the edge of Tuolumne Meadows. Unlike the springs in Yellowstone NP, the soda springs are not hot. 1097
103 <b>Soda Springs log enclosure</b>

Soda Springs log enclosure

Soda Springs log enclosure It is easy to see the white soda encrusted on the edges of the rocks. This little log enclosure was built around a large part of the springs. 1128
104 <b>Lemmon's Paintbrush</b><br><i>Castilleja lemmonii</i><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Lemmon's Paintbrush
Castilleja lemmonii
June 30, 2012

Lemmon's Paintbrush
Castilleja lemmonii
June 30, 2012 This lovely pink Paintbrush was blooming in Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite NP. clr: 3-p
1359
105 <b>Fly Fisherman in Yosemite</b>

Fly Fisherman in Yosemite

Fly Fisherman in Yosemite 1088
106 <b>Wild Strawberry</b><br><i>Fragraria californica</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Wild Strawberry
Fragraria californica
June 30, 2012

Wild Strawberry
Fragraria californica
June 30, 2012 In a few weeks, these little white flowers will produce sweet, juicy berries. I found them growing in the woods near the Tuolumne Meadows visitor center. clr: 1-w
1315
107 <b>Hoary Buckwheat</b><br><i>Eriogonum incanum</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Hoary Buckwheat
Eriogonum incanum
June 30, 2012

Hoary Buckwheat
Eriogonum incanum
June 30, 2012 There are several different species of yellow-flowered buckwheat. This species grows low to the ground and has silvery leaves. clr: 5-y
1258
108 <b>Sweetshrub</b><br><i>Calycanthus occidentalis </i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Sweetshrub
Calycanthus occidentalis
June 30, 2012

Sweetshrub
Calycanthus occidentalis
June 30, 2012 This shrub was growing near the Park Headquarters in Yosemite Valley. clr: 9-m
1274
109 <b>Tinkers Penny; Bog St. Johnswort</b><br><i>Hypericum anagalloides</i></br><br>June 29, 2012</br>

Tinkers Penny; Bog St. Johnswort
Hypericum anagalloides
June 29, 2012

Tinkers Penny; Bog St. Johnswort
Hypericum anagalloides
June 29, 2012 I found this little plant growing along a lake bank in Devils Postpile National Monument.
1103
110 <b>Shieldleaf</b><br><i>Streptanthus tortuosus</i></br><br>June 28, 2012</br>

Shieldleaf
Streptanthus tortuosus
June 28, 2012

Shieldleaf
Streptanthus tortuosus
June 28, 2012 I was happy to find this pretty pink flower blooming in the parking area of one of the first stops we made in Yosemite. clr: 3-p
1305
111 <b>Tobacco Brush</b><br><i>Ceanothus velutinus</i></br><br>July 1, 2012</br>

Tobacco Brush
Ceanothus velutinus
July 1, 2012

Tobacco Brush
Ceanothus velutinus
July 1, 2012 This shrub was blooming near the Obsidian Dome. It is a common shrub in the Mammoth Lakes area. clr: 1-w
1391
112 <b>Mountain Violet</b><br><i>Viola purpurea</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Mountain Violet
Viola purpurea
June 30, 2012

Mountain Violet
Viola purpurea
June 30, 2012 clr: 5-y
1325
113 <b>Mountain Whitethorn</b><br><i>Ceanothus cordulatus</i></br><br>July 1, 2012</br>

Mountain Whitethorn
Ceanothus cordulatus
July 1, 2012

Mountain Whitethorn
Ceanothus cordulatus
July 1, 2012 Mountain Whitethorn grows above 5500 feet, Chaparral Whitethorn grows below 5500' in elevation. clr: 1-w
1335
114 <b>Yarrow</b><br><i>Achillea millefolium</i></br>

Yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Yarrow
Achillea millefolium
1195
115 <b>June Lake </b>

June Lake

June Lake June Lake is one of the three beautiful Mammoth Lakes (the other 2 are Silver Lake and Grant Lake). June Lake is also a small community, the other lakes are not developed. It is fed by the snowmelt from the nearby Sierra mountains. 1028
116 <b>Long-stalked Clover</b><br><i>Trifolium longipes</i></br><br>July 1, 2012</br>

Long-stalked Clover
Trifolium longipes
July 1, 2012

Long-stalked Clover
Trifolium longipes
July 1, 2012 I found this unusual clover blooming along the shore of Silver Lake, the middle of the three lakes. clr: 1-w
1310
117 <b>Bigelow's Sneezeweed</b><br><i>Helenium bigelovii</i></br><br>July 1, 2012</br>

Bigelow's Sneezeweed
Helenium bigelovii
July 1, 2012

Bigelow's Sneezeweed
Helenium bigelovii
July 1, 2012 This wildflower was blooming on the shore of Silver Lake. clr: 5-y
1397
118 <b>California Wild Rose </b><br><i>Rosa californica</i></br><br>July 1, 2012</br>

California Wild Rose
Rosa californica
July 1, 2012

California Wild Rose
Rosa californica
July 1, 2012 This native wild rose was blooming along the shore of Silver Lake.
1116
119 <b>Hoary Aster </b><br><i>Machaeranthera canescens canescens</i></br><br>July 1, 2012</br>

Hoary Aster
Machaeranthera canescens canescens
July 1, 2012

Hoary Aster
Machaeranthera canescens canescens
July 1, 2012 I found this aster blooming on the bank of June Lake. clr: 8-v
1340
120 <b>Silver Lake </b>

Silver Lake

Silver Lake Each of the three lakes have their own characteristics. Silver Lake has a very large meadow of rushes. 1116
121 <b>A view of Silver Lake</b>

A view of Silver Lake

A view of Silver Lake 1076
122 <b>Star-flowered Solomons Seal</b><br><i>Smilacina stellata</i></br><br>July 1, 2012</b>

Star-flowered Solomons Seal
Smilacina stellata
July 1, 2012

Star-flowered Solomons Seal
Smilacina stellata
July 1, 2012 This flower was growing along the trail that runs along Silver Lake.
1057
123 <b>Grant Lake</b>

Grant Lake

Grant Lake Grant Lake is the last, and largest, of the three on the June Lake Loop road. I didn't think it was as pretty as the other two, it did not have trees along the bank. I shot this photo from the car. The mountains in the background are extinct volcano craters. 1019
124 <b>Western Blue Flag Iris</b><br><i>Iris missouriensis</i></br><br>July 1, 2012/</br>

Western Blue Flag Iris
Iris missouriensis
July 1, 2012/

Western Blue Flag Iris
Iris missouriensis
July 1, 2012/ This was one of the last irises to bloom. I found many with seed pods along the lake bank. clr: 8-v
1298
125 <b>Sheep</b>

Sheep

Sheep We spotted this large herd of sheep as we were driving to Bodie State Historic Park. They had stripped this pasture of grass, when we left and drove by them a few hours later, they had been moved to a greener field. 984
126 <b>Bodie SHP </b>

Bodie SHP

Bodie SHP This view was taken from the hill near the stamp mill where the ore was crushed. Due to 2 devastating early fires, only 5% of the original town exists today. 1016
127 <b>Bodie State Historic Park </b>

Bodie State Historic Park

Bodie State Historic Park This was the old dump where people threw their old cans. It is against the law to remove any artifacts from the park (even if it was once trash!). The large gray building in the background is the stamp mill where the ore was crushed. 935
128 <b>The Schoolhouse at Bodie SHP </b>

The Schoolhouse at Bodie SHP

The Schoolhouse at Bodie SHP Bodie State Historic Park is an authentic gold mining ghost town. The buildings are in "arrested decay", they are not being maintained, they are being left to the whims of the elements. Only 5% of the original buildings still remain due to 2 devastating fires.The town dates from the mid-1800's and was finally abandoned in the 1940's. It is interesting to peek through the windows of the buildings and see how people lived in the past. This is the town's school building. 964
129 <b>Inside the schoolhouse</b>

Inside the schoolhouse

Inside the schoolhouse 887
130 <b>A kitchen scene Bodie State Park</b>

A kitchen scene Bodie State Park

A kitchen scene Bodie State Park One house is open to the public (although the side rooms are roped off). It was eerie to see the peeling wallpaper and floor coverings along with dinnerware still sitting on the dusty table. 1088
131 <b>Hartweg's Iris</b><br><i>Iris hartwegii</i></br><br>July 1, 2012</br>

Hartweg's Iris
Iris hartwegii
July 1, 2012

Hartweg's Iris
Iris hartwegii
July 1, 2012 I was surprised to see this iris blooming at Bodie State Park due to how high (elevation 8375') and dry the area is. These plants were growing near a spring. The buildings in the background include the undertaker's house and visitor center. clr: 8-v
1421
132 <b>The mortician's house at Bodie State Park</b>

The mortician's house at Bodie State Park

The mortician's house at Bodie State Park I was surprised when I peered through the windows of this house! It was kind of creepy to see empty coffins! Many of them had viewing holes in the lid. The mortician kept busy between murders and deaths of the gold miners. Since mercury was used to separate the gold from the ore, miners often died prematurely. The cemeteries were on the hill above the town. 1084
133 <b>Bodie General store </b>

Bodie General store

Bodie General store 1034
134 <b>The Methodist church at Bodie State Park</b>

The Methodist church at Bodie State Park

The Methodist church at Bodie State Park Only a couple of the buildings in the park are open to public access, the inside of the church can only be seen from the doorway. 1088
135 <b>Sheep dog</b>

Sheep dog

Sheep dog When we left the park, the sheep had been moved to a lower pasture. Knowing there are coyotes in the area, we wondered what type of protection the sheep had. I finally spotted this Great Pyrenees dog lounging in the grass near by. 1017
136 <b>Flock of Sheep </b>

Flock of Sheep

Flock of Sheep The sheep we saw earlier in the day had been moved to greener pastures we left the park. We have seen flocks of sheep in other areas of California. 976
137 <b>Bristlecone Pine forest sign</b>

Bristlecone Pine forest sign

Bristlecone Pine forest sign I have wanted to see the ancient Bristlecone Pines on our western trips for many years. Because they grow in such high elevations and in such isolated areas, we had never gone to see them. We were only a couple of hours away from this forest, so I was determined to see them on this trip. The forest is located at 10,000 feet in elevation up a long, winding road. 960
138 <b>Bristlecone Pine forest</b>

Bristlecone Pine forest

Bristlecone Pine forest It is very easy to tell where the Bristlecone Pine forest begins and ends. The patch of darker trees are the ancient trees. They grow only in very specific conditions. 911
139 <b>A Bristlecone pine</b>

A Bristlecone pine

A Bristlecone pine Many of the Bristlecone Pines look like they are dead, but upon closer inspection, a few branches have green needles. Some of these trees are 3000 - 4000 years old and are quite gnarled. There are 2 trails that take visitors among the trees. We took the steep, but shorter, 1-mile trail (at 10,000 feet, it had us puffing at times!). 1064
140 <b>Bristlecone pine growth rings</b>

Bristlecone pine growth rings

Bristlecone pine growth rings This log had been cut years ago, it shows the tiny growth rings which indicate the slow growth rate of these ancient trees. There can be as many as 100 rings per inch of wood! 1210
141 <b>Whitney's Locoweed</b><br><i>Astragalus whitneyi </i></br><br>July 2, 2012</br>

Whitney's Locoweed
Astragalus whitneyi
July 2, 2012

Whitney's Locoweed
Astragalus whitneyi
July 2, 2012 The huge pink and cream-colored seedpods made this wildflower fairly easy to identify. I found it blooming along the trail at the Bristlecone Pine forest. clr: 5-y
1378
142 <b>Bristlecone pine forest wildflowers</b>

Bristlecone pine forest wildflowers

Bristlecone pine forest wildflowers We enjoyed this beautiful view of the Sierra Mountains far in the distance as we hiked along the trail in the Bristlecone Pine forest. 1135
143 <b>Sandwort</b><br><i>Arenaria congesta</i></br><br>July 2, 2012</br>

Sandwort
Arenaria congesta
July 2, 2012

Sandwort
Arenaria congesta
July 2, 2012 This species of sandwort grows at high elevations. I found this one in the White Mountains at 10,000 feet. clr: 1-w
1421
144 <b>Oval-leaved Buckwheat</b><br><i>Eriogonum ovalifolium<i></br><br>July 2, 2012</br>

Oval-leaved Buckwheat
Eriogonum ovalifolium
July 2, 2012

Oval-leaved Buckwheat
Eriogonum ovalifolium
July 2, 2012
This was a very common wildflower growing in the Bristlecone Pine forest. The flowers looked like little pink pompoms! clr: 3-p
1362
145 <b>Wooly Sunflower</b><br><i>Eriophyllum lanatum integrifolium</i></br><br>July 2, 2012</br>

Wooly Sunflower
Eriophyllum lanatum integrifolium
July 2, 2012

Wooly Sunflower
Eriophyllum lanatum integrifolium
July 2, 2012 This little sunflower grows in high elevations. Like many plants that live in harsh conditions (cold and windy in winter, hot and dry in summer), it has silvery hairs on the leaves. I saw this plant at the Bristlecone Pine forest. clr: 5-y
1299
146 <b>Silky Raillardella</b><br><i>Raillardella argentea</i></br><br>July 2, 2012</br>

Silky Raillardella
Raillardella argentea
July 2, 2012

Silky Raillardella
Raillardella argentea
July 2, 2012 I found this wildflower blooming along the trail at Bristlecone Pine forest. clr: 5-y
1278
147 <b>Stalked Fleabane</b><br><i>Erigeron algidus</i></br><br>July 2, 2012</br>

Stalked Fleabane
Erigeron algidus
July 2, 2012

Stalked Fleabane
Erigeron algidus
July 2, 2012 I'm about 99% sure on the identification of this wildflower. Some of the composites can be very difficult to ID. I found this tiny plant growing in the Bristlecone Pine forest. I put a penny next to it to show how small the plant was. clr: 8-v
1245
148 <b>An Ancient Bristlecone pine</b>

An Ancient Bristlecone pine

An Ancient Bristlecone pine Photographers love the gnarled wood of these ancient trees. The trees have developed their interesting character from centuries of harsh conditions. 1030
149 <b>Bristlecone pine burl</b>

Bristlecone pine burl

Bristlecone pine burl Some of the trees have interesting burls and swirls on their trunks. 1219
150 <b>Purple Sage</b><br><i>Salvia dorrii</i></br><br>July 2, 2012</br>

Purple Sage
Salvia dorrii
July 2, 2012

Purple Sage
Salvia dorrii
July 2, 2012 This pretty dark purple mint was difficult to identify. It was not in any of my wildflower books, I finally found it on a California wildflower website. I spotted it while I was hiking up the trail at Bristlecone Pines forest.
1308
151 <b>Sierra Daisy</b><br><i>Erigeron algidus</i></br><br>July, 2, 2012</br>

Sierra Daisy
Erigeron algidus
July, 2, 2012

Sierra Daisy
Erigeron algidus
July, 2, 2012 Yet another composite! It can be very difficult to identify these flowers! clr: 1-w
1487
152 <b>California ground squirrel </b><br><i>Spermophilus beecheyi</i></br>

California ground squirrel
Spermophilus beecheyi

California ground squirrel
Spermophilus beecheyi This little guy must have not liked the looks of us as we hiked up the trail to Gaylor Lake in Yosemite, he barked out alarm calls to the other squirrels nearby. These little squirrels are also known as "chickarees".
1004
153 <b>Western Bistort</b><br><i>Polygonum bistortoides</i><br>July 3, 2012</br>

Western Bistort
Polygonum bistortoides
July 3, 2012

Western Bistort
Polygonum bistortoides
July 3, 2012 This is a very common wildflower in western mountain meadows. clr: 1-w
1239
154 <b>Gaylor Lake trail</b>

Gaylor Lake trail

Gaylor Lake trail I really wanted to hike to an alpine lake while we were in the Sierras. The last day we were in Yosemite I found a lake at the end of trail that was a little over 1 mile in length. Although it was a short trail, it was quite steep with an elevation gain of ~1000 feet. I've marked Kenny ahead of me to show the steepness of the trail. This trail begins at the parking lot at the eastern entrance of the park. We enjoyed the hike up to Gaylor Lake. I saw several different species of wildflowers along the trail and on the lake shore. 1048
155 <b>Dwarf Lousewort</b><br><i>Pedicularis semibarbata</i></br><br>July 3, 2012</br>

Dwarf Lousewort
Pedicularis semibarbata
July 3, 2012

Dwarf Lousewort
Pedicularis semibarbata
July 3, 2012 This little Lousewort was growing in the woods along the trail up to Gaylor Lake. clr: 5-y
1218
156 <b>Gaylor Lake trail </b>

Gaylor Lake trail

Gaylor Lake trail Getting closer to the top! It was very rocky in this area of the trail. 1001
157 <b>Gaylor Lake Trail</b>

Gaylor Lake Trail

Gaylor Lake Trail There was an incredible view of the eastern side of Yosemite from the top of the Gaylor Lake trail. It is easy to see the U-shaped valley cut by glaciers long ago. (photo by a fellow hiker) 1061
158 <b>Mountain Heather</b><br><i>Phyllodoce breweri</i></br><br>June 30, 2012</br>

Mountain Heather
Phyllodoce breweri
June 30, 2012

Mountain Heather
Phyllodoce breweri
June 30, 2012 There were quite a few of these pretty pink wildflowers blooming on the lake side of the Gaylor Lake trail. clr: 3-p
1238
159 <b>Dwarf alpine Indian Paintbrush</b><br><i>Castilleja nana</i></b>

Dwarf alpine Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja nana

Dwarf alpine Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja nana This was one of the 60 new wildflowers that I saw on the trip. I found this plant growing near the shore of Gaylor Lake. clr: 1-w
1413
160 <b>Bog Laurel</b><br><i>Kalmia polifolia</i></br><br>July 3, 2012</br>

Bog Laurel
Kalmia polifolia
July 3, 2012

Bog Laurel
Kalmia polifolia
July 3, 2012 It is hard to believe this tiny wildflower is in the same genus as the beautiful Mountain Laurel that blooms in the spring in Tennessee. Like many other alpine wildflowers, this plant is very small and grows close to the ground. clr: 3-p
1343
161 <b>Alpine Shooting Star</b><br><i>Dodecatheon alpinum</i></br><br>June 3, 2012</br>

Alpine Shooting Star
Dodecatheon alpinum
June 3, 2012

Alpine Shooting Star
Dodecatheon alpinum
June 3, 2012 This little Shooting Star grows in wet areas at very high elevations up to 11,000 feet. I found these growing along the shore of Gaylor Lake. clr: 3-p
1261
162 <b>Kris at Gaylor Lake </b>

Kris at Gaylor Lake

Kris at Gaylor Lake Kenny shot this photo of me enjoying the view of Gaylor Lake. I finally got to see an alpine lake! 925
163 <b>Gaylor Lake and alpine wildflowers</b>

Gaylor Lake and alpine wildflowers

Gaylor Lake and alpine wildflowers 958
164 <b>Sierra Butterweed </b><br><i>Senecio scorzonella</i></br><br>July 3, 2012</br>

Sierra Butterweed
Senecio scorzonella
July 3, 2012

Sierra Butterweed
Senecio scorzonella
July 3, 2012 This is one of the "DYCs" ("darned yellow composite") in Yosemite. clr: 5-y
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165 <b>Indian Paintbrush</b><br><i>Castilleja</i> sp.</br>

Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja sp.

Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja sp.
1073
166 <b>Miterwort; Bishop's Cap</b><br><i>Mitella breweri</i><br>

Miterwort; Bishop's Cap
Mitella breweri

Miterwort; Bishop's Cap
Mitella breweri
These strange green flowers are very different than tiny white snowflake-like Bishop's Cap in the east. This plant is common in the mountains of the west.
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167 <b>Subalpine Indian Paintbrush</b><br><i>Castilleja lemmonii</i></br><br>July 3, 2012</br>

Subalpine Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja lemmonii
July 3, 2012

Subalpine Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja lemmonii
July 3, 2012 These pretty paintbrush flowers paint the alpine meadows with splotches of magenta.
1022
168 <b>Arctic Willow</b><br><i>Salix arctica</i></br><br>July 3, 2012</br>

Arctic Willow
Salix arctica
July 3, 2012

Arctic Willow
Salix arctica
July 3, 2012 It seemed strange to see willows growing and blooming on the ground up by Gaylor Lake. clr: 9-m
1265
169 <b>Alpine lake</b>

Alpine lake

Alpine lake After our hike to Gaylor Lake we took a short walk across the meadow to this beautiful lake in the valley at the east entrance of Yosemite. This was our last day in the park, so we decided to enjoy it as long as we could. 1128
170 <b>Foul-odor Monkeyflower</b><br> <i> Mimulus mephiticus</i></br><br>July 1, 2012</br>

Foul-odor Monkeyflower
Mimulus mephiticus
July 1, 2012

Foul-odor Monkeyflower
Mimulus mephiticus
July 1, 2012 The first time I spotted this pretty little flower was when we pulled off the highway onto the gravel road to drive to Obsidian Dome. The leaves smell a lot like a skunk, thus the species name. clr: 3-p
1288
171 <b>Obsidian Dome</b>

Obsidian Dome

Obsidian Dome I always read about a new area before we visit. I was glad I learned about this fascinating place called Obsidian Dome. The area east of the Sierra Nevada mountains near Mammoth Lakes has a spectacular history of volcanic activity. This large dome is made of black volcanic glass called "obsidian". 1045
172 <b>Obsidian Dome</b>

Obsidian Dome

Obsidian Dome Pumice and obsidian make up the rocks in this huge dome. 1044
173 <b>Hot Creek Geyser</b>

Hot Creek Geyser

Hot Creek Geyser Water from snowmelt in the Sierra Mountains seeps into the ground in the valley to the east. When the water comes in contact with hot rock deep below, it is heated and rises to the surface as a geyser. the water bubbles and sputters. Signs warn visitors to stay away from the creek because people have been scalded and died when swimming. 1007
174 <b>Hot Creek twisted rock layers</b>

Hot Creek twisted rock layers

Hot Creek twisted rock layers This layer of twisted rock was near the Hot Creek geyser. It took a tremendous amount of pressure to cause the rock layers to twist this way. 986
175 <b>Mobile station restaurant</b>

Mobile station restaurant

Mobile station restaurant When we were at Mono Lake one evening, we asked some local people where we could find a good restaurant in Lee Vining. We were surprised when we were told to go to the Mobil gas station! We had seen a lot of people eating out on the patio when we passed it on our way to Yosemite, but little did we know it had a gourmet restaurant! 914
176 <b>The Mobile station restaurant</b>

The Mobile station restaurant

The Mobile station restaurant The Whoa Nellie Deli had delicious gourmet food, quite a surprise for a gas station restaurant! 876
177 <b>Mobile station restaurant<b>

Mobile station restaurant

Mobile station restaurant I decided to be daring and try the Ahi tuna and seaweed. It was very good! 891
178 <b>Panum Crater<b>

Panum Crater

Panum Crater The Panum Crater had a trail that went around the perimeter of the extinct volcano. We wanted to go to the guided tour at Mono Lake at short time later, so we didn't walk the entire trail. 891
179 <b>Red-winged Blackbird</b>

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird Mono Lake has many different species of birds. This male Red-winged Blackbird was resting in the willows in the wetlands along the shore. 1038
180 <b>Mono Lake Lupine</b><br><i>Lupinus duranii</i></br><br>July 3, 2012</br>

Mono Lake Lupine
Lupinus duranii
July 3, 2012

Mono Lake Lupine
Lupinus duranii
July 3, 2012 This little lupine is endemic to the pumice plain areas near Mono Lake. That "soil" looks so poor, it is a wonder that anything can grow in it. clr: 8-v
1188
181 <b>Mono Lake</b>

Mono Lake

Mono Lake Mono Lake (pronounced "moh-noh", not "mah-noh" like the disease!) is located in the town of Lee Vining, just east of Yosemite. The water contains salt and soda, it is highly alkaline. This sign shows where the former shoreline was before the city of Los Angeles began diverting water from feeder streams in 1941. Mono Lake information 964
182 <b>White-flowered Bog Orchid</b><br><i>Platanthera leucostachys</i></br><br>July 1, 2012</br>

White-flowered Bog Orchid
Platanthera leucostachys
July 1, 2012

White-flowered Bog Orchid
Platanthera leucostachys
July 1, 2012 I was excited to see these pretty white orchids growing in the wetland area as we walked on the boardwalk to Mono Lake. clr: 1-w
1266
183 <b>Mono Lake Tufa Towers</b>

Mono Lake Tufa Towers

Mono Lake Tufa Towers One of the most fascinating aspects of Mono Lake are the tufa towers. These rock formations are made of calcium carbonate (limestone), but they did not form from ancient, compacted seashells like other limestone. The towers grew under water before the lake level dropped when calcium in the underwater springs reacted with the carbonates (soda) in the lake water. These towers are often used as nesting areas for ospreys, swallows and other birds. Mono Lake tufa information 1046
184 <b>Mono Lake tour</b>

Mono Lake tour

Mono Lake tour We took a tour of the lake shore with a volunteer guide. He dipped a strip of litmus paper into the water, we were amazed to see it had a pH of 10! It is very alkaline. If people swim in the lake they will not sink due to the high density level of the salts. 897
185 <b>Violet-green Swallow</b><br><i>Tachycineta thalassina</i></br>

Violet-green Swallow
Tachycineta thalassina

Violet-green Swallow
Tachycineta thalassina These beautiful green, violet and white swallows nest in the tufa towers at Mono Lake. This is a great area for birders!
782
186 <b>Mono Lake Alkali Fly</b><br><i>Ephydra hians</i></br>

Mono Lake Alkali Fly
Ephydra hians

Mono Lake Alkali Fly
Ephydra hians These flies are very strange! They live in the alkaline water of Mono Lake as larvae and pupae. They eat the algae in the water and lay their eggs on the rocks. The native Kutzadika'a people (the name means "fly-eaters') ate the pupae of these flies because they are high in protein and fat. Can you imagine eating fly pupa stew!? The adult flies swarm along the surface of the water and on the edge of the shore. If you wave your hand above them, they will fly a few inches above the surface and then quickly land. These insects are an important food source for numerous birds. California gulls are especially fond of them!
1293
187 <b>Mono Lake brine shrimp</b><br><i>Artemia monica</i></br>

Mono Lake brine shrimp
Artemia monica

Mono Lake brine shrimp
Artemia monica Brine shrimp, brine fly larvae and pupae, and green algae are the only organisms that can survive the harsh conditions of the saline water of Mono Lake. These organisms are a very important food source for many species of birds, including California Gulls.
1063
188 <b>Torrey's Blazingstar</b><br><i>Mentzelia torreyi</i></br><br>July 3, 2012</br>

Torrey's Blazingstar
Mentzelia torreyi
July 3, 2012

Torrey's Blazingstar
Mentzelia torreyi
July 3, 2012 I found this flower blooming along the shore of Mono Lake. clr: 5-y
1377
189 <b>The pumice plain</b>

The pumice plain

The pumice plain The area near Mono Lake is very high in pumice, a very light volcanic rock. The rock formations in the background are extinct volcano cones. The pumice in the foreground spewed from the volcanoes around 700 years ago. 850
190 <b>Pumice Hulsea</b><br><i>Hulsea vestita</i></br><br>July 3, 2012

Pumice Hulsea
Hulsea vestita
July 3, 2012

Pumice Hulsea
Hulsea vestita
July 3, 2012 These pretty yellow flowers brightened the drab, white pumice near Mono Lake. It is amazing how some plants thrive in such poor, dry soil. clr: 5-y
1211
191 <b>Sierra Stickseed</b><br><i>Hakelia nervosa</i></br><br>July 3, 2012

Sierra Stickseed
Hakelia nervosa
July 3, 2012

Sierra Stickseed
Hakelia nervosa
July 3, 2012 This pretty blue wildflower is related to Forget-Me-Not. It gets its common name from the prickly seeds that develop from the flowers. clr: 7-b
1225
192 <b>Old Thyme Inn - Half Moon Bay, CA</b>

Old Thyme Inn - Half Moon Bay, CA

Old Thyme Inn - Half Moon Bay, CA This was the bed and breakfast where we stayed in Half Moon Bay our last 2 nights in California. It was built in 1898. The breakfasts were very tasty. 910
193 <b>Pacific Seaside Plantain</b><br><i>Plantago maritima</i></br><br>July 5, 2012

Pacific Seaside Plantain
Plantago maritima
July 5, 2012

Pacific Seaside Plantain
Plantago maritima
July 5, 2012 I found this Pacific Seaside Plantain blooming on the beach at Half Moon Bay. This is not an especially pretty wildflower. clr: 5-y
1264
194 <b>Silver Beachweed; Beach Bur</b><br><i>Ambrosia chamissonis</i></br><br>July 3, 2012

Silver Beachweed; Beach Bur
Ambrosia chamissonis
July 3, 2012

Silver Beachweed; Beach Bur
Ambrosia chamissonis
July 3, 2012 I call this "Beach Ragweed" because it is in the same genus as the eastern ragweed. I would imagine it causes allergy problems too! clr: 6-g
1234
195 <b>Pescadero Beach</b>

Pescadero Beach

Pescadero Beach Pescadero Beach is a beautiful state park located off Highway 1 south of Half Moon Bay. When I looked at the river below the cliff, I spotted a large Harbor Seal swimming upstream (the long, black object in the center of the photo). 967
196 <b>Harbor seal</b><br><i>Phoca vitulina</i></br>

Harbor seal
Phoca vitulina

Harbor seal
Phoca vitulina Harbor Seals are common on the California coast. It is fun to watch them pop up out of the surf.
881
197 <b>Marine Isopod</b>

Marine Isopod

Marine Isopod This marine isopod was quite large, it reminded me of a rolypoly on steroids! 816
198 <b>Tsunami sign</b>

Tsunami sign

Tsunami sign This sign was posted on a kiosk at Pescadero Beach. It would be hard to get to higher ground in that area since Hwy. 1 parallels the beach. 754
199 <b>Beach Aster</b><br><i>Erigeron glaucus</i></br><br>July 6, 2012

Beach Aster
Erigeron glaucus
July 6, 2012

Beach Aster
Erigeron glaucus
July 6, 2012 These are pretty purple wildflowers that grow on the beaches of California.
899
200 <b>Oyster Catchers</b><br><i>Haematopus bachmani</i></br>

Oyster Catchers
Haematopus bachmani

Oyster Catchers
Haematopus bachmani These comical-looking shorebirds are often seen probing the beach sand for food.
809
201 <b>Surf Fisherman</b>

Surf Fisherman

Surf Fisherman I enjoyed watching this fellow casting his line in the rough surf as the gulls landed nearby. It seemed strange to have to wear warm clothes on July 5th, but the cold breeze off the Pacific Ocean drops the air temperature drastically. 882
202 <b>Marsh Locoweed</b><br><i>Astragalus pycnostachyus</i></br><br>July 5, 2012</br>

Marsh Locoweed
Astragalus pycnostachyus
July 5, 2012

Marsh Locoweed
Astragalus pycnostachyus
July 5, 2012 I found this flower blooming on the beach at Half Moon Bay. clr: 5-y
1118
203 <b>Coast Sneezeweed </b><br><i>Helenium bolanderi</i></br><br>July 5, 2012

Coast Sneezeweed
Helenium bolanderi
July 5, 2012

Coast Sneezeweed
Helenium bolanderi
July 5, 2012 This Sneezeweed has very small ray flowers (a.k.a. "petals"). clr: 5-y
1254
204 <b>Pigeon Point Light station</b>

Pigeon Point Light station

Pigeon Point Light station We stopped at this beautiful light station on our way to Año Nuevo State Park. The Pigeon Point light station has a youth hostel. 876
205 <b>Pigeon Point Lighthouse</b>

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Pigeon Point Lighthouse The 115-ft. Pigeon Point Lighthouse was built in 1872. It is now located in a State Historic Park. We enjoyed our brief stop here. 870
206 <b>Farewell-to-Spring</b><br><i>Clarkia amoena</i></br><br>July 5, 2012</br>

Farewell-to-Spring
Clarkia amoena
July 5, 2012

Farewell-to-Spring
Clarkia amoena
July 5, 2012
772
207 <b>Año Nuevo State Park dunes</b>

Año Nuevo State Park dunes

Año Nuevo State Park dunes Our last stop of the day (and the trip) was at Año Nuevo State Park. The park is famous for the Elephant Seals that come ashore on its beaches to give birth in the winter and to molt in the summer. A 1.6-mile hike is required to reach the haul-out beach. Part of the trail involves slogging up and through difficult sand dunes and sandy paths. It is worth the effort to see and hear the huge seals. 859
208 <b>Año Nuevo lupines and seals </b>

Año Nuevo lupines and seals

Año Nuevo lupines and seals This was our first view of the Elephant Seals, we heard them long before we saw them. If the wind is blowing the right way, they can be smelled too! 830
209 <b>Elephant seal new arrival</b>

Elephant seal new arrival

Elephant seal new arrival This young male elephant seal arrived from the sea and we watched him shuffle out of the water onto the beach. These guys have a face that only a mother elephant seal could love! :) 810
210 <b>Northern Elephant Seal</b><br><i>Mirounga angustirostris</i></br>

Northern Elephant Seal
Mirounga angustirostris

Northern Elephant Seal
Mirounga angustirostris These young Elephant Seals were sparring on the beach at Año Nuevo State Park. In the summer the seals haul out on the beach to molt. The males have a large proboscis ("nose") that they make a loud, snuffling sound through. The volunteer who was stationed at the beach overlook told us that the largest males had not yet arrived, these guys are just juveniles. The full-grown males can be 14 feet long and weigh close to 6000 pounds. The seal in the foreground on the left is molting its fur. I was not as close as it looks, I had a 500mm telephoto lens on my camera. It is against the law to approach the seals. These large animals could be dangerous if harassed.
729
211 <b>Elephant seals throwing sand</b>

Elephant seals throwing sand

Elephant seals throwing sand It was funny to see the Elephant Seals throwing sand over themselves at Año Nuevo, they do this to cool off. The seals will molt all of their old layer of fur during this time. 746
212 <b>Male Elephant seals sparring</b>

Male Elephant seals sparring

Male Elephant seals sparring These juvenile Elephant Seals are sizing each other up. 759
213 <b>The Año Nuevo Light station house</b>

The Año Nuevo Light station house

The Año Nuevo Light station house The old Año Nuevo Light station house is now abandoned and has become the property of California Sea Lions and Cormorants. 749

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