Wildflower headshots

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It is almost the summer solstice but there are still lots of flowers blooming in the nature park. There is a mighty fine display of California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum). Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) is also blooming, a harbinger of lovely red berries in winter. Wild sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are just getting started, standing tall with several blooms per stem. And the wonderful monkeyflowers (Diplacus aurantiacus) continue putting on a spectacular show. I spent some time photographing flowers after weeding in the park on Wednesday. Enjoy!

Eschscholzia californica
California poppy brightens the park
Asclepias fascicularis
Native milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) is covered with milkweed aphids. I rarely see the native milkweed without aphids and have to assume this is fine.
Bee approaches milkweed. Though I thought this was the native narrow-leaf milkweed, it turns out to be something else. Notice it doesn’t have aphids!
Encelia californica
Nice pollinator (skipper?) on bush sunflower
Cucurbita foetidissima
Aptly named stink gourd, the leaves and fruits of this native have an interesting aroma.
Encelia californica
Sunflower fades as it enters the next life stage, seed production. In a culture of youth, fading flowers are not appreciated for their own special beauty.

There is another park cleanup on Saturday, June 20, 2015, 9 am – noon. We will probably end early since we are expecting hot weather. I have not scheduled cleanups in July and August, but we will have some to meet the service requirement of South Pasadena High School students. Keep checking the nature park blog, the nature park facebook page, this website, or email me.

Hope to see you on Saturday!