Category Archives: Flowers

04-03-19 Wildflower Wander


I played hooky for a mid-week sojourn to view the California Super Bloom without the overwhelming crowds. There were still a LOT of people, but the flowers were beautiful! I started out with a scenic drive to Carrizo Plain National Monument, wandered over to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve, and wrapped up the day with a hike in Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park.

The Carrizo Plain is a large enclosed grassland plain, approximately 50 miles (80 km) long and up to 15 miles (24 km) across, in southeastern San Luis Obispo County, California, about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Los Angeles. It contains the 246,812-acre (99,881 ha) Carrizo Plain National Monument, and it is the largest single native grassland remaining in California. It includes Painted Rock in the Carrizo Plain Rock Art Discontiguous District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2012 it was further designated a National Historic Landmark due to its archeological value. The San Andreas Fault cuts across the plain.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is a state-protected reserve of California, USA, harboring the most consistent blooms of California poppies, the state flower. The reserve is located in the rural west side of Antelope Valley in northern Los Angeles County, 15 miles (24 km) west of Lancaster. The reserve is at an elevation ranging from 2,600 to 3,000 feet (790 to 910 m) above sea level, in the Mojave Desert climate zone. The reserve is administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Other wildflowers within the reserve include the owl’s clover, lupine, goldfields, cream cups and coreopsis.

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park is a 932-acre (377-hectare) park located in the Sierra Pelona Mountains in northern Los Angeles County, California. It is located in the town of Agua Dulce, between the suburbs of Santa Clarita and Palmdale. The area is also visible from the Antelope Valley Freeway (State Route 14).

03-31-19 – Wander


A wander to find wildflowers away from the throngs of Instagram seeking visitors ended in exploring an old favorite, Red Rock Canyon State Park, from a new direction. I’ve been here dozens of times, and I’m still seeing things for the first time.

Red Rock Canyon State Park features scenic desert cliffs, buttes and spectacular rock formations. The park is located where the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada converge with the El Paso Range. Each tributary canyon is unique, with dramatic shapes and vivid colors.

Historically, the area was once home to the Kawaiisu Indians, who left petroglyphs in the El Paso mountains and other evidence of their inhabitation. The spectacular gash situated at the western edge of the El Paso mountain range was on the Native American trade route for thousands of years. During the early 1870s, the colorful rock formations in the park served as landmarks for 20-mule team freight wagons that stopped for water. About 1850, it was used by the footsore survivors of the famous Death Valley trek including members of the Arcane and Bennett families along with some of the Illinois Jayhawkers. The park now protects significant paleontology sites and the remains of 1890s-era mining operations, and has been the site for a number of movies.

After wet winters, the park’s floral displays are stunning. The beauty of the desert, combined with the geologic features make this park a camper’s favorite destination. Wildlife you may encounter includes roadrunners, hawks, lizards, mice and squirrels.

04-07-18 – Exposition Park Rose Garden



The Exposition Park Rose Garden is a now historic 7-acre sunken garden located in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California. It has been called “one of the city’s best-kept secrets”. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

03-17-18 – Descanso Gardens



Descanso Gardens is a 150 acres botanical garden located in La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles County, California.

03-05-16 – Descanso Gardens


Descanso Gardens, located in La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles County, California, is a 150 acres botanical garden. At one time, this property belonged to newspaper magnate E. Manchester Boddy, who owned the Los Angeles Daily News.

01-16-16 – Death Valley


Death Valley National Park straddles eastern California and Nevada. It’s known for Titus Canyon, with a ghost town and colorful rocks, and Badwater Basin’s salt flats, North America’s lowest point. Above, Telescope Peak Trail weaves past pine trees. North of the spiky salt mounds known as the Devil’s Golf Course, rattlesnakes live in Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. Near Nevada is the Spanish-style mansion Scotty’s Castle.

11-28-15 – Kyū Shiba Rikyū Garden


The Kyū Shiba Rikyū Garden, also known as Kyū Shiba Rikyū Onshi Teien is a public garden and former imperial garden in Minato, Tokyo, Japan

08-28/09-01-15 – Sunflowers


Sunflower fields across Colorado, Nebraska, and the Dakotas

I’d been seeing pictures of sunflower fields near Kansas for a few years, and always wanted to see them for myself. When I suddenly realized they were in bloom late last summer, I made an impromptu trip to see them and some national parks I’d not yet visited. The sunflowers were past their peak in Colorado when I arrived, but as I moved north I found many vibrant fields.

09-01-15 – Agate Fossil Beds National Monument


Fossils and Much, Much More

During the 1890s, scientists rediscovered what the Lakota Sioux already knew—bones preserved in one of the world’s most significant Miocene Epoch mammal sites.

Yet, this place called “Agate” is a landscape that reflects many influences—from early animals roaming the valleys and hills, to tribal nations calling the High Plains home, to explorers passing through or settling in the American West.

03-06-15 – Red Rock Canyon (Topanga)


Red Rock Canyon Park is located in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains off of Old Topanga Canyon Road. The riparian canyon walls are fortified with huge red sandstone outcroppings, reminiscent of Southwest canyons and gorges. Special rockland micro-habitats reside among the many beautiful red, tan and pale purple rocks and oak and sycamore trees at the bottom of the gorge. The park provides a key habitat linkage between Malibu Creek State Park and Topanga State Park.