Tag Archives: flowers

Coastal Cholla flower

Coastal Cholla, Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, June 4, 2014

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Thickleaf Yerba Santa

Thickleaf Yerba Santa, Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, May 6, 2014

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Cactus Flower

Coastal Prickly Pear flowers, May 26, 2014

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Patterns on the Hills

I took a break from Whiting Ranch to explore the season at nearby O’Neill Regional Park, specifically the Live Oak, the Hoffmann Homestead, and the Vista Trails, a lariat that I began at the corner of Meadow Ridge and Chisolm Trail in Mission Viejo. Summer is the season of death here in Orange County. Memorial Day weekend marks the final demise of the foxtail and wild oat grasses. Gone are the Golden Stars, the mustard, and other competitors for the sun of the open range. The country turns resplendent yellow except for dusky patches of sage, toyon, and chamise creating a pattern on the hills.

Vedanta Wilderness, O'Neill Regional Park, California

Vedanta Wilderness, O’Neill Regional Park, California

Few things can be more frustrating that to aim your eye through your camera’s viewfinder and discover that its battery has died just as a brilliant vista comes into view. This happened to me as I surmounted the hill near the Vista Point and looked down on the Live Oak Trail as it plunged down one slope and crawled up the long ridge that rises after the junction with the Coyote Trail. I sighed and contained a tantrum by remembering that I had my Samsung S5 in my pocket. It couldn’t compete with my Nikon, but it was better than nothing.

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Sapphire Woollystar, taken May 18, 2014 in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.

Alas the wildflowers are beginning to disappear.

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Taken in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, May 7, 2014

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