Wildflowers of Torrey Pines, Guy Fleming Trail

Super Bloom, Spring 2017

The drought that has plagued the Southwest United States, Southern California included, has been declared over… for the most part. We saw hardly any rain over the last five years and this winter we made up for the deficit. Finally! And when the rains come, so do the wildflowers.

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The Torrey Pines State Reserve is a special place, and if you are visiting the San Diego area, try to stop by here. For spectacular scenery, the Guy Fleming Trail is one of my favorite places to walk, run, bring tourist friends, and take photos.

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This year, a lot of photos. Never have I taken more pictures of any natural area. Ever. And I like taking pictures along hikes, so that is saying something.

 

From the dozen or so walks I have taken recently, I’ve saved about a hundred photos, culled down from four hundred, at least. The scenery changes every ten paces or so, quite literally! During San Diego’s May Gray and June Gloom, the fog sneaks and slips through the pines and up over the slopes that rise from the beach below. But- in a matter of minutes, the entire marine layer can clear up leaving tourist and locals blinking in the bright sunlight and marveling at the weathered bluffs, crumbling cliffs, and lovely, lovely flowers.

Just look at these side-by-side photos of similar views, but different times or weather:

 

and more…

 

 

Cold, early morning poppies vs. bright, shiny (and badly photographed) poppies:

 

I love these two:

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Here’s a bit of the wildlife. Surfers count, they are totally legit wildlife…

 

 

Get a load of the geometry and patterns seen out on the beach trails:

 

 

 

 

And to conclude, a few of my favorite pics of just the flowers:

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Milk Maids
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The Blue Larkspur- spotted in the eponymous Larkspur Canyon.

 

 

 

 

All right. I have to quit. I could upload another 50 photos that are every bit as lovely as these, but I have to calm the heck down.

Happy hiking, all!

Wednesday’s Wildflowers- Torrey Pines State Reserve

Along the coastal chaparral of the Guy Fleming Trail¬†wildflowers are bursting forth thanks to the downpours we’ve seen this rainy season. If you can’t drive out to the desert region this spring, get over to Torrey Pines State Reserve and enjoy the beauty before the heat returns and withers away these blooms.

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Wooly Paintbrush is one of the chaparral perennials.
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The San Diego Sea Dahlia, of the sunflower family, has contrasting sturdy stems and delicate leaves.
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Here is one of my favorite wildflowers to spot- Miner’s Lettuce, of the purslane family. An early spring edible like the more common purslane… but don’t take my word for it, I’m no botanist.
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One of the many mustards, Milkmaids are popping up all over the Torrey Pines trails.

Thanks to my handy-dandy spiral bound book-

Native Plants Torrey Pines State Reserve & nearby San Diego County Locations

by Margaret L. Fillius, 2nd Edition

This book is available for purchase at the visitor center atop the preserve, and if you’re lucky, the author will be on site leading a nature walk.