25 members and guests shared a glorious day, filled with plenty of wildflowers and a wide range of plants.
After the drive up Hwy. 74 and east on South Main Divide Road, we began the trip with a nice exploration of the areas just west of the road as well as the area to the north of the road. This included the area that local botanists have dubbed "Onion Hill", for the diversity of Alliums that have been seen there. We discussed the geology a bit then set out on foot to see a variety of annuals and many of the geophytes (bulbs and corms) that enjoy the clay soil grasslands in the area. These included many chocolate lilies, blue dicks, mariposa lilies, death camas and two species of native onions.
After returning to our cars we drove back north a couple of miles and visited the site of the 2013 "Falls" fire. This is the second year following the fire and it was interesting to see changes in the plant palette. Much like last year, the highlight of this stop may have been the large quantities of fire poppies.
After the "official" field trip concluded about eight or ten of the heartiest native plant enthusiasts drove across Hwy 74 a short distance and visited a site that burned during September 2014 (last year). There, we also observed an abundance of first year fire-following annuals, including more fire poppies. The highlight of this stop may have been a few Brewers red maids (Calandrinia breweri), a small plant that is seldom seen in Orange County or the Santa Ana Mountains, and is almost exclusively seen the year following a burn.
A wonderful day of beautiful weather, lots of scenery, fresh air and open spaces, and of course great native plants! For the full plant list of the day, click "Plant seen today".