Calochortus catalinae

P1020627P1020677P1020695P1020685P1020674P1020665C. catalinae along Figueroa Mountain Road – 20 April 2016.

P1020714Grass Mountain, 20 April 2016.

P1020582P1020588My garden view at the Wine Valley Inn. Solvang, CA – 20 April 2016.

***

I went on another spontaneous Calochortus adventure!  I kept seeing these beautiful photographs of the poppy bloom on Grass Mountain and was hoping to see it, but missed it.  (It’s okay though because I really went to see Calochortus catalinae or Catalina Mariposa Lily.)

I flew standby to Santa Barbara (SBA) and first drove to Big 5 Sporting Goods to obtain my California Adventure Pass.  The daily pass cost $5 and is required to explore the Los Padres National Forest.  (You can order it online; my trip was too spontaneous to do so.)  I then headed to Solvang, CA.  Solvang is a Danish town in the Santa Ynez Valley, a.k.a. wine country.

I went to Solvang Brewing Company for a light dinner and had salmon lox smorrebrod.  It was delicious.  Afterwards I returned to my hotel, the Wine Valley Inn, for a wine tasting featuring wines from the Santa Ynez Valley.  (From what I could tell, wineries in this particular region do not charge an arm and a leg for wine tastings.)  I couldn’t make complete sentences after a certain point so I returned to my room and passed out.  Luckily I remembered to set my alarm for 5am and luckily I woke up feeling fine and well-rested.

I went to Paula’s Pancake House for breakfast and you MUST try the Danish pancakes if you go.  I can’t stop thinking about them.  I also bought bakery treats at Mortensen’s Danish Bakery.

And then I took a short drive to Los Olivos and started my journey to find C. catalinae on Figueroa Mountain Road.  It didn’t take me long to find them – they were showing off their beauty right along the side of the road!  Hiking wasn’t even required!  I did hike a bit though.  Most of the petals had a pinkish or lavender hue, but some were mostly white. Their blood red markings with yellow hairs, was to me, the most beautiful part of the flower.  There is a Figueroa Mountain wildflower report compiled every two weeks by a Los Padres National Forest employee.

The trip was a success, perfect really, and I can’t wait to go back.  Until next time…

 

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