Red Hills 2024 4/20/24

The nearly-constant stream of weekend storms through the winter and spring have made this an epic year for wildflower blooms at the Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern. We enjoyed a mid-April four-mile hike with our friends Julie and Jill and their doggo Fritz. The nutrient-poor serpentine soils only allow specially-adapted plants to grow in these hills. Several of the larger ephemeral streams were still running well for this time of year, but many of the smaller ones were merely damp under their rocky channels. The dampness made for an explosion of monkey flowers!
Parking area full of flowers- mostly monkey flower
Reservoir Dogs opening to the hike.
Very purple miner's lettuce.
Annual checkerbloom.
Bird's-eye Gilia
Hiking up to the overlook.
Bluehead Gilia
The scrubby nature of the red hills caused by serpentine soils.
Ithuriel's Spear
Heading down towards Six Bit Gulch. Some great cirrus clouds.
Very blue Blue Dicks.
Julie, Jill, Fritz, Laura and Z.
TONS of Ithuriel's Spears. Lots of scraggly foothill fines in the background too.
Buckbrush and other scrub.
Trap-door spiderweb with lots of dew!
Heading down into Six-bit gulch.
Z did a great job walking Fritz.
Monkey flowers in a now dry stream.