Muir Woods in Bloom

I had planned going mushrooming up at Salt Point with Mickey & Caner, but with the rain and the distance and the uncertainty of mushrooms in general, we decided to just explore a little closer to home and headed to Muir Woods. I'm glad we did, because we caught the beginning of the spring wildflower season! Plenty of early bloomers were out and flowering, including many milkmaids and, amazingly, TONS of fetid adderstongue! Pretty much the entire trailside from Panoramic Highway down Redwood Creek into Muir Woods had a couple, and some spots were practically carpeted with the little flower. Most had already done their thing, but there were plenty still in bloom.

Other welcome sights were my first Indian Warrior of the year, in the higher areas, and Common Star Lily (Toxicoscordion fremontii), one of my favorite flowers to photograph. Toxicoscodion is a relatively change in genus I hadn't known about, and I have to admit I will miss being able to say "Zigadenus." Then again, "Toxicoscordion" sounds kind of like it's describing a poisonous accordion, so that's almost as fun.

Weather was cool and damp throughout, though no outright rain. Pretty much zero in the way of birds. Didn't do too much herp searching (and found nothing for my minimal efforts). Coolest animal by far was the one little Timema Mickey had on her shirt. Timema is a very weird genus of stick insects, always fun to see.

Posted by kueda kueda, February 16, 2009 06:38 AM

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Pope Valley Timema (Timema poppense)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 14, 2009 04:46 PM PST

Description

Timema! Caner turned to Mickey and said, "You have a bug on your shirt." I turned to Mickey and said, "Timema!"

This was in the middle of a dense conifer stand, most likely redwoods, so maybe one of the T. poppensis/dougalsi pair.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Fetid Adderstongue (Scoliopus bigelovii)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 14, 2009 03:33 PM PST

Description

You would not believe how much Fetid Adder's Tongue is blooming in Muir Woods right now. The Bootjack Trail in particular was just coated with these guys. Most had flowered, but there are still plenty showing off, like this one.

Photos / Sounds

What

Warrior's Plume (Pedicularis densiflora)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 14, 2009 01:59 PM PST

Description

You know Spring hath sprung when the warriors come out to play.

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Star Lily (Toxicoscordion fremontii)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 14, 2009 05:02 PM PST

Description

This species has apparently gone under some recent taxonomic revision. My books and most sources list it as Zigadenus fremontii, but the online UC Jepson web site states that molecular studies have shown this and other CA Zigadenus to be distinct from their congeners, so I guess I have to stop using one of my favorite generic names. Sigh.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Fetid Adderstongue (Scoliopus bigelovii)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 14, 2009 03:30 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Hound's Tongue (Adelinia grande)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 14, 2009 02:36 PM PST

Description

Possibly the first flowering Hound's Tongue I've seen this year.

Photos / Sounds

What

Buckbrush (Ceanothus cuneatus)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 14, 2009 02:29 PM PST

Description

So I tried to key this one, and I think this is the only species of Ceanothus with white flowers and smooth leaves. It also has the characteristic notched leaf.

Photos / Sounds

What

Warrior's Plume (Pedicularis densiflora)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 14, 2009 02:26 PM PST

Description

In certain spots (like this one), the Indian Warrior was booming.

Photos / Sounds

What

Convergent Lady Beetle (Hippodamia convergens)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 14, 2009 04:02 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

California Fetid Adderstongue (Scoliopus bigelovii)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 14, 2009 04:01 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Trillium (Trillium ovatum)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 14, 2009 03:57 PM PST

Description

There were only a few Trilliums out, and most were only just starting to bloom like this one. One thing I hadn't noticed before is the red spike the leaves form when the plant has just emerged. I'll have to keep an eye out for that in the future.

Photos / Sounds

What

Milkmaids (Cardamine californica)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 14, 2009 03:51 PM PST

Description

This was very, very common, blooming along almost all parts of the trail at all elevations.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Fetid Adderstongue (Scoliopus bigelovii)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 14, 2009 03:36 PM PST

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