Date: May 31, 2020
Place: Ring Mountain Preserve, Tiburon, California
Coordinates: 37.921552, -122.494284
Length: 2 miles
Towards the end of May photos started showing up of a unique-looking mariposa lily, one that I have never seen. This mariposa lily is a species endemic (grows only there and nowhere else) to a small area near Tiburon, called Ring Mountain Preserve. Needless to say, the first chance I had I got my family out over there to go looking for this special flower.
|Our hike as captured by my GPS|
The trail bent south and started uphill. The view below was of a wetland creek mouth which looked like a good habitat, but we couldn't see any wildlife from where we stood.
A couple of plum trees near the beginning of the slope had use detained for a few minutes, picking the ripe yellow plums and snacking on them.
|Chick Lupine, Lupinus microcarpus|
|Marin Western Flax, Hesperolinon congestum|
|Coastal Tarweed, Deinandra corymbosa|
A small party of women was coming down the trail. We stopped and had a little chat, keeping a safe COVID-19 distance. I asked if they'd seen the special mariposa lilies, to which they answered enthusiastically that there were many. They also told me about other interesting flowers I might see up there. And of course, the more familiar ones, like the California State flower, the California golden poppy.
|California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica|
|Western Larkspur, Delphinium hesperium|
|Graceful Clarkia, Clarkia gracilis|
|Tiburon Mariposa Lily, Calochortus tiburonensis|
|Rock Lettuce, Dudleya cymosa|
|Pitted Onion, Allium lacunosum|
More wildflowers appeared alongside the trail. A few at first, then large patches of them, butter 'n' eggs.
The peak of Ring Mountain is topped by a large rock called Turtle Rock. When the rock became visible I could see people sitting on top of it. Below was a field of lupine in full bloom.
|Chick Lupine, Lupinus microcarpus var. densiflorus|
|Hillside Morning Glory, Calystegia collina|
|Coast Buckwheat, Eriogonum latifolium|
|Part of Turtle Rock|
|San Francisco View|
There was a nook under the oaks where people has some recreational time leaving too many evidence of their pleasure behind as litter. It was sad to see. We got back out of the trees and continued down the trail.
Coming down we had a splendid view of Corte Madera and the San Clemente creek mouth. To the north loomed Mount Tamalpais, and I could almost imagine the Titans' castle on its summit.
|Rosin Weed, Calycadenia multiglandulosa|
|California Laurel, Umbellularia californica|
|Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia|
|Sonoma Rose, Rosa spithamea|
This hike was focused on wildflowers but the birders my family took every opportunity to look for birds. Some of the birds didn't need looking for - they were advertising themselves loudly, in the open.
|Red-tailed Hawk, juvenile|
|Yellow Monkeyflower, Erythranthe guttata|
|San Clemente Creek|
Almost since the beginning of the hike I saw numerous Ithuriel's spear flowers. There were lots of them along the entire trail. They didn't look exactly like those I see on my East Bay hikes, which are larger and paler. At first I thought they might be a different species, but they are in fact, the same.
|Ithuriel's Spear, Triteleia laxa|
|Amole, Chlorogalum pomeridianum|
Needless to say, we stopped once again to snack on the plums at the bottom of the slope. This time however, we were not enjoying them alone.
Indian Teasel, Dipsacus sativus, non-native, invasive