Sierra Azul, Woods trail - 4/14/2021

Woods trail is ramping up right now, lovely as always, with quite a few blooms and still early for most. Around the parking area were small fields of lupines, and that little strip of goldfields and Linanthus as you start on the trail. Along the way were tons of CA buttercups (which seem to be doing fabulously everywhere I've been this year) and Pacific pea, many paintbrush and two-eyed violets and more Common Star Lilies than I've seen there at once. The irises look iffy this year, with some patches having a fair number of flowers, but a majority of patches none at all. Maybe they've yet to bloom, or maybe won't bother this dry year. A very nice patch of vivid Blue Dicks, some monkeyflowers, and a surprising amount of Yerba Santa in bloom, it seems early for them. Of course there were other bloomers too, but those were most notable. The sedums haven't started yet. And of course the smelly chaparral plants are fantastic right now, pungent, potent and not yet bitter - pitcher sage, mugwort and artemesia.

Sadly, I found three squished newts on the trail. It's bad enough finding them on the road, where I can muster a small amount of sympathy for drivers not seeing them. But what's happening on the trail? Is it ranger trucks? I admire them greatly, and they have a lot of responsibilities, but perhaps they could also learn to see newts. Hikers and bikers? Surely they should be paying enough attention to the trail, and are close enough, not to step on them or run them over? Regardless, obviously it's happening even there, where they should be safe. :-(

Posted by newtpatrol newtpatrol, April 15, 2021 04:51

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