Tag Archives: wildflowers




Our native feed germinated early at the end of October, and by Thanksgiving the rains came, six days at a time spaced with six days of gray. A fairly warm winter with few days below freezing, the grass grew, and by March, there was little room for wildflower bloom to compete for sunlight.

Exceptions are the yellow cascades of Bush Monkeyflowers and the purple Winecups or Farewell to Spring, both now showing spectacularly around Lake Kaweah. While looking for strays yesterday, this Twining Brodiaea caught my eye.


Rising from the earth,
heavy head climbing for light,
no two knots the same.





Lost in a thatch of brittle stems,
foxtails and grasses ripe
with seed, we are not extinct

despite extremes: grazing hoofs
and rising floods of rain—
the four-year drought

before they finally came
and all the honest mistakes
the ignorant have made.

We are tough and may outlast
your conceit, your
Endangered Species List.





Small yellow faces
drawing life where their seed rests
in cracks of granite.


Kaweah River Bush Monkeyflower – Mimulus aurantiacus var. pubescens



Comes early, stays late—
adds color to gray granite
outcrops through summer.


Sun Cup / Camissonia




We’re on the right track identifying yesterday’s wildflower thanks to Richard’s comment and friends of Facebook friends from CNPS. I’ve included the larger plant because I can’t visually confirm suggestions from Calflora photos, i.e. Camissonia contorta, Camissonia campestris, Camissonia pallida , etc. and to offer more information to those who’ve made suggestions.

This Camissonia is tough, right in the path to the corrals where a hundred head passed over it several times this spring. Our fate does not hinge on absolute identification, but far more interesting than this election.






I found a little patch of these interesting wildflowers on a well-traveled, sandy bank of Dry Creek in mid-April 2016. At first I thought they were Pygmy Poppies, but they may not be poppies at all.


Flower Friday












Not ready long, they reach
for attention, beg to be seen
within the tall dry grass:

pink pulses clinging to the stem
like winged fairies resting might
if you let yourself believe.







Funny how I can’t remember
just how the Lupine looked
like a brand-new town,

the crowded Gilia, white heads
bowed without a photograph
for proof. All the pretty faces

gone, I have a crush on spring—
as my mother, her coffee cup
beside me, would often say

of my impetuousness—I fall hard,
all ill feelings squeezed
from the inside out, swept away.

But etched in my skin, in the walls
of my brain, I can’t forget the dust,
every particle I inhaled of drought.






I dreamed I went upriver
on young legs until the roar
of snowmelt over boulders

shrank into a meadow
stream lined with pines—
going back in time.

Nothing has changed
the blackened rings,
the chiseled peaks beneath

a blue, blue sky—
and I am small again,
but with older eyes.

Where will our children go
when they get old at night?
What will they follow

to find themselves
content to be
engulfed in awe?