Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ring Mountain - Tiburon Mariposa Lily - 5-21-11

Tiburon Mariposa Lily (Calochortus tiburonesis)

          With a few hours to kill on a Saturday afternoon I decided to go to Ring Mountain in search of the Tiburon Mariposa Lily. I headed up the Phyllis Ellman Trail and noticed that the blue eyed grasses were starting to diminish. Ithuriel’s Spears on the other hand were in full bloom.
          I made my way quickly up the hillside and observed only a few shriveled up Oakland Star Tulips hidden amongst the grass which had grown significantly taller since the last time I was here a few weeks ago.
          The trail was busy with damselflies. I captured one image that shows bright red eggs beneath the body and another image where several eggs had been let loose onto a rock. As with all images on my blog, click to enlarge.

Vivid Dancer with Red Eggs Underneath

Vivid Dancer with Small Red Egg Deposit on Rock Below

          Damselflies and Dragonflies look very similar however, there are a couple of key differences that help tell them apart. When a dragonfly is perched it leaves its wings outward where a damselfly tucks its wings together and behind itself (as seen in my images). Also a dragonfly's eyes are in front of the head and nearly touch where a damselfly's eyes are on the side of the head and separated.

Damselfly - Vivid Dancer

          Toward the upper section of the trail were dense patches of the light cream colored Pitted Onion.

Pitted Onion (Allium lacunosum)

Pitted Onion (Allium lacunosum)

          I hiked up to what I call butterfly knoll where I was treated to my first Tiburon Mariposa Lily of the season.

Tiburon Mariposa Lily (Calochortus tiburonesis)

          Because mariposa is the Spanish word for butterfly I am now calling butterfly knoll mariposa knoll. I feel the name is more fitting because of the abundant species of butterflies that flock to the knoll and the magnificent display of Mariposa Lilies. Although I only found one in bloom, I did notice many buds getting ready to open.
          Also in bloom was the stonecrop known as Bluff Lettuce.

Bluff Lettuce

          As usual several Fence Lizards perched on top of their serpentine thrones.

Western Fence Lizard aka Blue Belly

          As I continued along the path my eyes were drawn to a brightly red colored wildflower called Indian Pink.

Indian Pink

          On my way down the hill I opted to take the loop trail. I was disappointed to see that the small labyrinth had been disassembled but I guess it is for the best as it keeps people from trampling the rare flora.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post, Cole! That mariposa lily is really something, what an interesting bloom!