Friday, March 4, 2011

habitat ~ 03/04/11 ~ Pinnacles National Monument - west





Pinnacles National Monument - west entrance
March 4, 2011

This is the earliest in the year we've ever visited Pinnacles, a truly unique geological oddity. Driving to the park was enjoyable with rolling hills of green... the green only existing a couple months out of the entire year around here. I've heard the "golden" of "golden California" has less to do with the discovery of gold in the late 1840's (or the blond locks of Hollywood babes), than with the prevalent golden color of dried grasses across much of the state. Within the park, it seemed like spring was just beginning. My usual favorites of CA poppies, clarkia, and Chinese houses were not out yet. There was definitely a different mix of Lepidoptera compared to what I usually see in April and May (2010 and 2009). And, as usual, we spotted numerous turkey vultures but no condors. Afterward, we did our traditional stop in tiny Soledad at La Fuente for yummy CA-Mex food, which was originally recommended by one of the rangers at Pinnacles a couple years ago. For other blog posts about Pinnacles, here's my virtual collection: kt's Nature ID companion.

4 comments:

Jeannette said...

We had it to ourselves last year on the 8th of March...I put up quite a few pictures of that day. It is a place of wonder. I came back and had to look wallflowers and milk maids. Love your blog.

GretchenJoanna said...

I love the Pinnacles -- have been there a couple of times with our children, but not at all recently. April is a good month, too, but after that it can get a little bit hot!
I was in your neck of the woods earlier this week and came home without being able to identify a couple of plants that I posted photos of. Maybe if you know them you can tell me before I get around to researching.

GretchenJoanna said...

oops...I should have browsed your blog first. One of my unknowns is already I.D.'d there, of course - the California hedge nettle. I thought it looked like a nettle, but I forgot that they aren't all stinging, so I ruled it out....

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Jeannette, I remember your post quite vividly as I've only ever found a couple blog posts of Pinnacles. Thank you for the compliment. Maybe we'll meet in person at Easter in the Highlands (see my most recent post).

Gretchen, I agree with you that Pinnacles can get a bit hot during the summer months. Considering, we've only ever been during March-May, I have no idea what it's like during the rest of the year. Glad to hear you've found my blog helpful.