Primrose monkeyflower
(Mimulus primuloides)
Mt. Pinos:
Chula Vista

Kern County

July 20 and 21, 2003

A fall photograph of the Mt. Pinos meadow at Chula Vista campground. To be sure, this is a colder time of year with plants securing themselves
for the snows of winter.

(September 28, 2002; using the Nikon 8008)

*Note: All images were taken with a digital camera (having left my trusty Nikon 8008 behind at
home). A truly uncharacteristic departure from my purist beliefs in the power of film, I found
this digital camera to be surprisingly handy and reliable. Other than the difficulty of seeing
the viewing screen in daylight, this Nikon CoolPix 4500 was a delight in the field.

Not far from the end of the Mt. Pinos road, where the Nordic Ski Base resides, is a splendid
meadow alongside Chula Vista campground. This trip missed the peak spring bloom of wild iris
by a few weeks. However, a few tenacious late bloomers and a host of other flowers kept the
digital camera very busy. Mt. Pinos is a perfect day drive from the Los Angeles area. At
8,300 feet at the top parking lot, the Jeffrey pine forest is delightfully cool and refreshing. An
excellent place for biking, equestrian, and hiking activities. A popular excursion is to hike
between Mt. Pinos and Mt. Abel (to the west). If an approximate 4-5 mile one way trek
between peaks sounds like enough, many hikers will park cars at both ends for an easy ride
back to their starting point.

Western blue flag [aka. Rocky Mountain iris] (Iris missouriensis) and sleepy
bumblebee filled with lupine nectar.

I lack the courage to even attempt identifying this lupine. Ranging 3-5 feet in height, bumblebees
adored this lupine's nectar and a sweet fragrance topped off its overall delight.

A real treat was finding a late season mariposa! This little beauty had a distinctive green
stripe on the back of the petal, which Peterson's guide called a "shy mariposa tulip"
(Calochortus invenustus). It was found in the drier, surrounding Jeffrey pine forest, as opposed
to the meadow area.

Also found on drier slopes, away from the meadow, this penstemon was an infrequent color amongst the riot of identical red penstemons surrounding it. I've had a bit of trouble identifying it and have come closest to the golden beard penstemon (Penstemon barbatus). In every way, this flower matched the description, except for the absence of yellow hairs at the base of the 3 lower lobes. Hence, my ID is most likely off a bit...back to the drawing board.


Revised: August 13, 2003

This site ©2003 Ann Dittmer.