The web page's description of the trail was not as clear as it should have been. It should have mentioned that the trail has very little shade, the falls is usually bone dry even in early spring, and when the falls is bone dry, there's no clear indicator of when you've gone past it, so you end up hiking significantly farther than the 6 miles you had planned on. We hiked 7.6 miles and did not find any waterfall. It was rather exhausting. Even so, the scenery was beautiful, and of course, I had a fantastic boyfriend with me.
My relationship with Barry has never been anything but wonderful, yet I feel as if it's somehow managed to get even better since our Yosemite trip. I mean, the Yosemite trip itself - the fun we had during it - was part of that, but then the way Barry took care of me when I came down with the flu at Yosemite was another part of that, and then ever since - while I was recovering from the flu and then preparing for the Gardens Gone Native Tour that we signed up to put Barry's house on - it's just been absolutely continually reinforced for me that Barry really goes to continually amazing lengths to support me in basically every possible way. So I've been feeling even more grateful toward him lately than usual, but I haven't necessarily been spending as much time focused on him as I could be, while busily trying to perfect his yard. So it was important to me that I should mark the beginning of our third year together by taking the day off work and also off gardening to focus more on him for the day. He made it particularly easy to do that, though, by wanting to do something so much fun as hiking through beautiful California wilderness.
We started off with a 45-minute drive through farmlands and small towns to the town of Guinda. Shortly after passing a corner store with a mural of Mickey Mouse on its outer wall exhorting customers, "Please don't pee on the building!" we arrived at the end of the road, where Barry pulled off onto the shoulder (which was basically a ditch; it was mildly difficult to get his truck back out of there when we left) and parked. On foot, we pushed our way through a couple of gates that were set up to block cars. There was some farm equipment at one point along the path that was making musical sounds as the wind blew through the pipes. That was rather charming. There was also a creek that ran alongside the trail at various points.
I took these next two pictures from the bridge where the trail crossed over the creek.
And Barry took these two pictures of me while I was photographing the creek.
I took a lot of pictures of plants. We also saw quite a number of animals, but animals move a lot faster than plants, so I took almost no pictures of the animals. We saw cattle, including two very cute baby calves (I told Barry I want to adopt a baby calf that is genetically modified to never grow up). We saw two tiny dogs (a chihuahua and a terrier) that came running at us, barking loudly, and then continued running right past us. We saw two bunny rabbits that ran across the trail ahead of us. We saw butterflies - many pipevine swallowtails (Battus philenor) and one Sara orange-tip (Anthocharis sara sara). And we saw this California alligator lizard, the only animal I did get a picture of. Barry asked whether I would love this lizard forever, and I said that since I got a picture of it to remember it by, I could. It did a good job of posing motionlessly and keeping its tail attached while I bent over it with my camera, adjusting my focus.
The rest of this post is basically all plant photos. Continue at your own risk. I'll start with ferns and monocots, then proceed through various families of dicots.
This is California maidenhair fern (Adiantum jordanii). I've attempted to grow it in the past, but I haven't had any success.
This is a golden fairy lantern (Calochortus amabilis).
This is me photographing the golden fairy lantern.
This is a blue dick (Dichelostemma capitatum). I've also attempted to grow these, and again had little success.
This is death camas (Toxicoscordion fremontii). Eating it can kill you. I've attempted to grow this one too, and met with yet more failure. It's growing with a bit of paintbrush (Castilleja sp.)
This is a closeup of death camas.
That's all the monocots. Here's a desert-parsley (Lomatium sp.), in the carrot family. I've grown some of these in the past, with some degree of success, but they're all long dead now.
Here's a woolly sunflower (Eriophyllum lanatum), in the aster family. I have one of these growing in Barry's front yard.
That brings us (in alphabetical order by scientific family name) to the borage family. Here's a fiddleneck (Amsinckia sp.)
And some Pacific houndstongue (Cynoglossum grande). This was the first time I've ever seen this species, either wild or in a garden.
Here's a scorpionflower (Phacelia sp.) It looks a lot like the pine bee flower (Phacelia imbricata) that I'm growing both at my house and at Barry's house, and it might be that, but there are some other, similar-looking species that it might also be. It's growing with a small Leptosiphon sp.
Finally, also in the borage family, here is yerba santa (Eriodictyon californicum). I have some of this at my house. I've also tried to grow it at Barry's house, but so far it hasn't survived there. I will try again when I can find it for sale again or get a seedling from mine.
And here is a closeup of it (with bonus honeybee).
Moving on to the mustard family, here is sand-dune wallflower (Erysimum capitatum). I've grown this in the past, but it's all died off now.
And in the stonecrop family, here is canyon liveforever (Dudleya cymosa). I have some of this at Barry's house, in a hanging basket on his back patio. I had some at my house in the past, but it died.
In the heath family, here is an unidentified manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.). I have manzanitas both at my house (whiteleaf manzanita) and at Barry's house (Baker's manzanita). This could be either of those species or another species altogether.
This brings us to the legume family. Here is a Western redbud (Cercis occidentalis). I have one of these at my house and also one at Barry's house.
Here is an unidentified peavine (Lathyrus sp.).
And a closeup of another peavine, this one with pale purplish flowers.
Here is an unidentified clover (Trifolium sp.). I've grown various native clovers in the past, mostly from seed, and I got seeds of them this year too, but none sprouted this year.
Still in the legume family, here is silver bush lupine (Lupinus albifrons) with paintbrush (Castilleja sp.). I have silver bush lupines at both our houses, though they're doing a lot better at Barry's house.
Here is chick lupine (Lupinus microcarpus). I have some of this at both our houses, though not much this year.
Here is some more chick lupine, now accompanied by another, unidentified lupine.
And here are some more unidentified lupines.
That brings us to the broomrape family, whose members are hemiparasitic (they get some of their nutrients from photosynthesis but some from parasitizing the roots of other plants). Here is an owl's clover (Castilleja sp.). I've been trying to grow owl's clover from seed for years, but I've never gotten any to sprout.
And here is a paintbrush (Castilleja sp.), with a yellow variant that is probably the same species. I have a paintbrush at my house, but the one I planted at Barry's house died because the monkeyflower it was parasitizing died.
Here is Indian warrior (Pedicularis densiflora) with more paintbrush (Castilleja sp.). Both of these are in the broomrape family.
Here is some more Indian warrior.
And a closer view of it.
Moving on to the plantain family, here are Chinese pagodas (Collinsia heterophylla), in progressively closer views. I have these both at my house and at Barry's house.
In the phlox family, here are false babystars (Leptosiphon androsaceus). I used to have some of these at Barry's house, but they're annuals, and they didn't come back this year.
And an unidentified Leptosiphon species.
In the buttercup family, here is an unidentified bower vine (Clematis sp.). I've tried to grow these at both our houses, with no luck so far.
And an unidentified larkspur (Delphinium sp.). I have some of these at both our houses, but only one of them - a scarlet larkspur at Barry's house - has survived for a full year, and even that one hasn't bloomed yet.
In the buckthorn family, here is a hairy mountain lilac (Ceanothus oliganthus).
And two closeups of it.
Finally, in the nightshade family, here are two unidentified nightshades (Solanum sp.). I have some nightshade at my house and some at Barry's house.
And here is a view from the trail, looking down toward the town of Guinda.