2016 Field Trip Report: Bear Canyon to Four Corners [4/17/2016]
A small, but friendly group drove the beautiful springtime Ortega Highway to or starting point at the well-known Candy store. Almost as soon as we got to the trail,we started seeing interesting native plants: popcorn flowers, peonies, sun cups, monkeyflowers, and so on. A few Parry's Chinese houses (Collinsia parryi) were especially exciting to see. The flower show continued in good abundance as we gently climbed up toward the crest of the ridge, a distance of perhaps 1.5 miles. Just before the top we paused for a moment to see one of the smallest and most inconspicuous plants, Ranunculus hebecarpus.
Once to the crest the trail flatened out and the walk to Four Corners was extremely pleasant. As we walked, we enjoyed plants of the chaparral and oak woodland plant communities.
A break and lunch at Four Corners allowed us to relax and tell a few stories. For the return trip we took a parallel trail to the one we used on the way in. This new trail showed even more plants, including an odd variegated Cenothus oliganthus.
The trip was just right; not too hard, but with lots of flowers, great scenery, a bit of remoteness, and perfect company among friends.