Thanks to some help from some of my flickr contacts I finally did identify all of the flower pictures from our last hike at San Bruno Mountain. Sometimes I’m amazed by the depth of knowledge that can exist in a simple photo sharing group. So, having accomplished that, we decided we would go back for another look as we had vowed to do. We came away from our last visit thinking we were too early for the best displays, and we really wanted to see more. We had also run out of time and only hiked a short section of the Ridge Trail, and I wanted to take a look out there on that rolling ridgetop. We were hoping for a nice day with enough sunshine to bring out the bloom’ age, but weather in this area can be unpredictable. Lest we forget Candlestick Park with all of its weather lore is closeby, right across the causeway. It’s good to be prepared and we were geared up for possible unsettled conditions. What we got was windy and chilly conditions all day, and we were pelted with light rain a few times which came in at a about a 45 degree angle. The sun was out only briefly for about 10 minutes in the afternoon, and the visibility was poor, but the hike was plenty worthwhile anyway. Even these conditions couldn’t spoil our fun, and the flowers also seemed to brave the elements, displaying themselves for some seasonal frolicking. The views weren’t very good, but at least it didn’t rain enough to get the trails muddy. We hiked the summit loop in the opposite direction from the way we had gone a couple of weeks ago. Lots of species were out and overall this was a better trip than a couple of weeks ago, but I was especially impressed with the scattered displays of Iris on the lower summit loop, and by the varieties of Paintbrush showing in shades from yellow, to orangey, to deep red. And even some which seemed to have an identity crisis showing in multiple hues. I got some really interesting input on my pictures of paintbrush from our last trip. Out on the Ridge Trail I most enjoyed the nice clusters of Hummingbird Sage and Franciscan Wallflower, and the smell of all the blue colored Ceanothus was wafting everywhere. Even the blustery Candlestick wind could not dispatch the fragrance from the nostrils of ramblers. The delicate yellow Wallflower also has a really great smell if you get close to it. The Franciscan variety is classified as rare and endangered, but it seems to thrive here. I still think we haven’t seen the best yet, but considering the conditions, I was surprised we got the robust displays we saw on this trip. We might even come back again.
Click here to view the pictures on flickr