Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Belly Flowers: Blink And You Might Miss These Small Wonders of the Wildflower Kingdom...

Belly up!

I have a particular fondness for what are commonly referred to in the wildflower parlance as "belly flowers." 

These are tiny blossoms that pave the environment with color but live so close to the ground that you practically do need to get on your belly to see them.  As such, they are at particular risk for being stepped on, rolled over, layed upon or otherwise mangled by folks who just don't see them or appreciate their delicate beauty.

Along with the Sandblossoms shown above, here are a few examples of belly flowers:

Lilac Sunbonnets

Lilac Sunbonnets, Wildrose Canyon, Death Valley National Park

Pretty little Red Maids, some in a row...

Red Maids, Red Hill
Road, San Luis Obispo County, California

Neon Twins

Desert Mariposa lilies and Rattlesnake Weed

Belly Flowers (How Low Will You Go???)

Bigelow's Monkey Flower, Jubilee Pass, Death Valley National Park

Spreading Phlox on Granite

Spreading Phlox, Tioga Pass Road, Yosemite National Park

Brodiaea in a Bug's Eye View

Dwarf Brodiaea, Figueroa Mountain, Central California

Brilliance in numbers

Goldfields, San Luis Obispo County, Central California

Gotta Love Those Baby Blue Eyes!

Baby Blue Eyes, San Luis Obispo County, California

Twin Beauties

Long Beak Filaree, Santa Barbara County, California

Gimme a Five-Spot, Will Ya???

Five Spot, Greenhorn Mountains, Kern County, California

Friday, June 11, 2010

Another "Poppies-in-Peril" Update on the Proposed Fairmont Butte Racetrack

Lovers' DanceThe hearing scheduled for June 9th before the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission has been continued for 90 days.

This gives a bit more time to prepare and strengthen opposition to the racetrack project.  Although it looks like the Planning Commision intended to approve the re-zoning, it is not too late to raise your voice in support of the amazing expanse of poppies that will be lost if this project received the go-ahead.

A number of local environmental groups and organizations such as Cal Parks, the Antelope Valley Conservancy, etc., already are on record as opposing this development.  Save The Poppy Reserve is a great website that shows the history of this dispute as well as many ways to take action to voice your dissent for the Motorsports Park project. Other information can be found in prior posts here for May 5th and May 12th.

Two-Track to HeavenIt would also be helpful if you would add comments and even better, sign on as a Follower and make your support of the Wildflower Conservancy's goals known to the online community.  To those who have already signed on, thank you SO much!

The Wildflower Conservancy

Monday, June 7, 2010

Station Fire Burn Area Shows Signs of Recovery With Beautiful Wildflowers

Station Fire Brings a Flurry of FlowersI'm currently preparing a more detailed report on the Angeles National Forest and how it's recovering from the Station Fire last year.

In the interim, I should note that while most of the roads through the burn area have reopened to traffic, the forest itself remains closed.

Fire RainbowNo hiking or entry into the burn area is permitted. You have to drive straight through or have a business or residence in the burn area.

And that means no stopping along the highway -- not even in pullouts!

Fire FollowersI didn't know about the no stopping rule until I was driving through the forest several weeks ago, hoping to take a few pictures of the restoration.

I did so for about two hours until a U.S. Forest Service ranger came along and explained that one could not stop anywhere along the road -- even in pullouts where, ordinarily, it would be okay. FYI, the ticket can run upwards of $5,000!  Thankfully, I did not get one.

Life After Death...That said, I still highly recommend taking the drive.  It's very encouraging to see new life arise from what was essentially a lifeless landscape after the fire last September.

Big Tujunga Hillside RenaissanceJust remember if you do go, be sure to keep moving!

The Wildflower Conservancy