Cold Spring East to Camino Cielo and the Grotto

Starting at the Cold Spring trailhead on Mountain Dr. I took the East Fork up to Camino Cielo, down to Forbush and over to the Grotto. Probably about 15 miles round trip.

I was looking for Fritillaries (again, which I found blooming) and I also hoped to see California Peonies but these were still not blooming; though I did see plants.

In Forbush Meadow I stumbled on a field of tiny little mustards which I’d never seen before. These turned out to be Spring Whitlow-Grasses.
Draba verna flower

It was overcast on the front side, all the way up to Camino Cielo so sun-loving plants like Sunflowers and Storkbills were not very prominent. Sunny in the back country and Storkbills were much more obvious.

Cold Spring below powerlines
Fendler’s Meadow-Rue (2 plants in bloom) These didn’t even start growing until the rain came (which is normally when they start blooming), and even though they bloomed late the plants are about half the normal size
California Bay Laurel (1) Normally these are finished by now, but because of the drought almost none bloomed when they should. Very few are blooming now, of course, but it is odd that they bloom at all this late
Coast Sanicle (buds)
Sticky Snakeroot (lots)
Canyon Sunflower (2) I saw none on the way up, 2 on the way down) Normally there are lots of these blooming. In January and February all the new leaves that came out in December shriveled up from the drought. The plants now look healthy again and have vigorous new leaves, but, as yet, no blooms
Fiesta Flower (3) These are late to bloom this year, and there still aren’t very many doing so yet.
Periwinkle (7)
Chinese Houses (1) These are late to bloom this year; this is the first one I’ve seen, and it’s not very impressive.
Purple Nightshade (4)
Milk Maids (162) Usually these start blooming in early January, or even December. On 4 March there were none blooming here. On 18 March there were 46, and today there were 162.
Common Manroot (2)
Chaparral Lotus (1)
Bermuda Buttercup
Poison Oak
Big-Leaved Maple (1)

CS between powerlines and the Cold Fire
Star Lily (2)
Bigpod Ceanothus (1) Right at the powerlines. Normally these cover hillsides. This year this is the first one I have seen blooming on this trail.

recovery area from the Cold Fire
Late-Blooming Mariposa Lilies (basal-leaves)
Twocolor Cudweed (2)
Popcornflower (50~60)
Common Manroot (2)
Chaparral Lotus (~50)
Red-Stemmed Storksbill (~20)
5 species are blooming here this year, last year about 24 were blooming at this time.

CS above Cold Fire to Camino Cielo
Late-Blooming Mariposa Lilies (basal-leaves)
Bush Poppy (~7)
California Bay Laurel (1)
California Buckwheat (1)
Southern Tauscia
Prickly Phlox (1)
Silk Tassel Bush (1 with buds)
Black Sage (4)
Flowering Ash (5 with buds)
Common Manroot (3)
Holly-Leaved Cherry (1)

CS Camino Cielo to Forbush
Blue Dicks (3 buds)
Late-Blooming Mariposa Lilies (basal-leaves)
Bush Poppy (~7)
Purple Larkspur (3)
California Bay Laurel (3)
Chaparral Currant (2)
Hog Fennel (4)
Southern Tauscia
Eastwood Manzanita (1)
Prickly Phlox (3)
Coastal Indian Paintbrush (1)
Purple Nightshade (3)
Common Manroot (4)
Deerweed
Sugar Bush (1 with buds)
Skunkbush (1)

Forbush
Dense-flowered Rein Orchid (3 basal leaves) just below Forbush
Blue Dick (leaves), or maybe Butterfly Mariposa Lily (basal-leaves)
Miners’ Lettuce (lots)
Hog Fennel (lots)
Variable Linanthus (buds)
Spring Whitlow-grass (lots)

Forbush to the Grotto
Mariposa Lily (basal-leaves) either Late Blooming or White Fairy Lantern
Bush Poppy (~3)
California Saxifrage (3)
Coast Sanicle (buds)
California Sweet Cicely (3)
Prickly Phlox (3)
Flowering Ash (buds)
Common Manroot (2)
Skunkbush (3)
Poison Oak (1)
Big-Leaved Maple (3)

Grotto
Blue Dicks (3 buds) below Grotto
Ojai Fritillary (8 plants blooming)
California Barberry (~10 plants, but fewer blooms than 3 weeks ago)
California Sweet Cicely (3)
Coastal Indian Paintbrush (5) below Grotto
Milk Maids (1)

Mountain Dr.
Asphodel
Blue Dicks (3)
Chickweed
Some kind of Dock (Rumex sp.)
Western Sycamore (1 tree in bloom)
Pineapple Weed
Telegraph Weed
Prickly Sow-Thistle
Common Sow-Thistle
Beggar’s Ticks
Sticky Snakeroot
Bush Sunflower
Fiesta Flower (~10)
Blue Elderberry
Coastal Morning Glory
Tree Tobacco
White Nightshade
Black Mustard
Field Mustard
Sweet Alyssum
Radish
Deerweed
Arroyo Lupine (2)
Coast Live Oak (3 trees blooming)
Long Beaked Storksbill
Bull Mallow
Yellow Sorrel
Bermuda Buttercup

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