Sunday, January 3, 2010

pelagic cormorant ~ 01/03/10 ~ Cannery Row

These birds have been all the rage at the Monterey Bay Aquarium because they nest underneath the building. Unlike the Brandt's cormorants these are a bit less social.

I first heard this called the fried egg poppy, which is easy to remember for obvious reasons. It's HUGE! Apparently, it's the largest native CA flower and is extremely noticeable, even from a car going 45 mph.

It's interesting that Calflora (linked in the scientific name above) doesn't list a record of this species in Monterey or Santa Cruz Counties, nor does it show the smaller R. trichocalyx as existing locally. Plus, Coulter's is categorized as a List 4 - Watch List by the CNPS. I know both species are introduced in gardens (indeed, this pic was taken along the rec trail), but I swear I've seen it growing out in the wild along Carmel Valley Road and in Santa Cruz County along the rural end of Green Valley Road. Next time I drive out either road, I'll try to make to sure to document my sightings.

Another note of interest is my "local" Spring Wildflowers book states it blooms in May and June. Ha! Here's photographic evidence it blooms in early January!