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This blog is predominately about camera trapping in California. We camera trap to save our souls and to teach primary school students about biology and conservation. We will also touch on other camera trapping news and musings, sets from afar, mediocre herpetology, sucky birding, and other natural history discussions.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Finding the Freaks

Calochortus tiburonesis, or my white whale of the botany world

Many years ago, as a curious young person interested in the outdoors, I would spend hours researching locations in the Bay Area to explore through the site Bay Area Hiker.
It was here where I first learned of the Tiburon Mariposa Lily, while reading of hikes in Ring Mountain Open Space.

Along this wind-swept Tiburon ridge and its serpentine rocks, the freakish lily and several other rare plants have found a home in what would be a usually toxic soil.

For the lily, the ridge is its only home.

Many visits were made over the years and I never caught glimpse of the rare flower during its brief bloom -- either I was too early, too late or too poor of a observer.

Yesterday, I happened to be in Marin for CPR training and the thought randomly popped in my head to check on the lilies once more.

On what was a perfect CA spring afternoon, my partner and I ambled up the Phyllis Ellman trail along the dry grass landscape. Ithuriel's Spear were still out in strong numbers and provided a nice contrast to the yellow-brown background.

image Perhaps it was just my time, or my lady is a good luck charm -- immediately upon coming in sight of the 14 marker that is referenced as lily habitat, I spotted one right next to the trail, then another... they were all over the place!

about a half dozen in bloom

It reminded me of searching for owl pellets, how usually once you find that first one, then all the sudden it is like you can see the matrix, and the ground is actually covered in pellets.

so weird!

And then of course another great feature of Ring Mountain is that once you have brought your attention away from the ground, a few other things look pretty cool around you.


1 comment:

  1. Just seeing this post… The tiburonensis, and their hillside, are pretty darn spectacular, huh? Always worth a pilgrimage.