On Sunday 2/21/16, eight hikers, with various outdoor interests, met at the parking area at the south-east end of Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park off Glenn Ranch Road in Lake Forest, led by Jonathan Frank and Rachel Whitt. While enjoying the perfect mid ‘60s/low ‘70s temperature and bright sunshine, we walked for 2.5 hours on various trails, including the Live Oak, Serrano Cow, and Edison Road trails through oak woodlands and grassland/scrubland shrouded hills. The couple days of rain earlier in the month followed by weeks of warm, dry temperatures allowed the profusion of growth of both native flora and exotic weeds. Most of the native wildflowers were just beginning or had yet to bloom at the time of our trip.
Among the species seen on our trip: two species of Ribes; white-flowering currant (Ribes indecorum) and fuchsia-flowered gooseberry (Ribes speciosum), fiddlenecks (Amsinckia menziesii), wild cucumber (Marah macrocarpa), Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum), and hollyleaf redberry (Rhamnus ilicifolia). In addition, especially on the grassy, disturbed hillsides, a profusion of exotic weeds including Malva sp. and thistles, Cirsium sp.
In addition to discussing the various plants we came across, many of the participants of the hike engaged in enthusiastic topics regarding the insects, birds, and general ecology of the Park. I would like to thank everyone who attended for making this hike interesting and informative.