After work I drove out Sir Francis Drake Blvd. to Samuel P Taylor State Park in search of some Stream Orchids. Lagunitas Creek also known as Papermill Creek, besides being prime habitat for spawning Coho Salmon and Steelhead Trout, is also home to the native Stream Orchid which normally bloom in June.
I parked my car in the dirt lot across form Devil’s Gulch and set off on the North Creek Trail which parallels Lagunitas Creek between the creek itself and busy Sir Francis Drake Blvd.. For this reason the trail is subject to some traffic noise, but I managed to find some reprieve.
The Norh Creek Trail started off completely overgrown with brambles and giant Cow Parsnips. I had to bushwhack my way through for a distance before it cleared up a bit. I kept my eyes on the creek looking for signs of the orchids. Eventually I left the trail and made my way along the creek to a beautiful rocky area. As I sat down for a moment to observe the scenery I noticed several small patches of Stream Orchids each with just a few flowers in bloom.
Of all the native orchids in Marin, the Stream Orchid has some of the most diverse and vivid coloring. In another week or so the remaining buds should open up for quite a display.
I retraced my steps along the creek and back through the thickets stopping briefly to observe some blooming Buckeye Trees.
Back at the parking lot I decided to take a brief walk up Devil’s Gulch Road. Only a short distance up the road the traffic noise disappeared and I was in another world. Hedge Nettle, Pacific Starflower and Crimson Columbine bloomed along the roadside.
Although I was tempted to keep hiking up Devil’s Gulch I decided to head home for dinner.