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Coyote Ridge Spring Wildflowers
April 2007

Where cattle trim back non-native grasses, native wildflowers thrive.
Masses of tiny white cryptantha and poppies edge the road up Kirby Cyn.
A single California Poppy blooms amid a tangle of cryptantha (popcorn flower).
Trailside serpentine boulders radiate the sun's warmth.
A short ways up Kirby Cyn, Annual Agoseris
thrive in a drier "topo climate" area.
Also called Mountain Dandelions, they are a
relic plant related to Mojave plant communities.
Another relic plant is the Wooly Desert Dandelion.
Bright Yellow Pincushion wild flowers grow
in profusion in Kirby Cyn and on Coyote Ridge.
Scorpion Weed towers above poppies and tiny cryptantha wildflowers.
Scorpion Weed bloom stalks.
The rising sun illuminates stalks of the
Most Beautiful Jewelflower in Kirby Cyn.
Close up views of the Most Beautiful Jewelflower's blossoms.
Poppies with a side of California Gilia.
View of a section of the Kirby Cyn trail known as "Poppy Alley".
At higher elevations, Cream Cups and
Common Yarrow bloom alongside poppies.
Stalks of Purple Owl's Clover.
Fiddlenecks, cream cups, poppies and
tiny white cryptantha frame view of Coyote Valley.
Poppies flourish on an exposed spine of Serpentine rock.
Stalks of fiddleneck dance in the breeze beside the trail up canyon.
North-facing hillsides tend to be wetter, cooler
than the more arid south-facing slopes.
Stalks of Blue Dicks are common along the road up Kirby Cyn.
A white Blue Dick with fiddlenecks in background.
Poppies adorn an impressive outcropping
of serpentine at the halfway point to the Ridge.
Cream Cups crowd the trail at higher elevations.
Illuminated by the rising sun, this startled
coyote quickly disappeared from view.
A few minutes later, it was spotted crossing an adjacent hillside.
Deer are also sometimes seen grazing in the canyon adjacent to the trail.
Rare and endangered, the Mount Hamilton Thistle
blooms only once during its life cycle.
The Santa Clara Valley Dudlea shown
here is listed as Federally Endangered.
A trailside poppy display near the summit of Coyote Ridge.
A carpet of Goldfield wild flowers on Coyote Ridge.
Tidytips surround a piece of serpentine rock enameled with red lichen.
A fine tangle of ridge-top wildflowers.
Part of Coyote Ridge has been set aside
as the Kirby Cyn Butterfly Sanctuary.
Pale Swallowtail on a coffeeberry bush -
a favorite food source for butterflies.
Anise Swallowtail - notice how its markings differ from the Pale Swallowtail?
Plans to develop Coyote Valley have been set aside for now.
Protection of the endangered Bay Checkerspot Butterfly rests in our hands.
Tiny stalks of "Plantago" - so necessary to
the Bay Checkerspot Butterfly's survival.
With wings as colorful as stained glass,
a newly emerged Bay Checkerspot Butterfly.
With a flight life of just 12-14 days, wings wear thin and colors fade quickly.
Far more common in Kirby Cyn and on
Coyote Ridge is the Chalcedon Checkerspot.
Newly hatched, with vivid color,
a Chalcedon Checkerspot butterfly.
Smaller than a checkerspot, and much more flighty, a Mylitta Crescent.
Smaller still is the Acmon Blue.
The colorful, Common Buckeye butterfly is
often seen in Kirby Cyn and on Coyote Ridge.
Found sheltered for the night amid Mt. Hamilton Thistle.
When sufficiently warmed by the morning sun,
this Chalcedon Checkerspot took flight.
Watch for butterflies on nectar sources, such as trailside Golden Yarrow.
Chalcedon Checkerspot perched on Tidytip wildflower.
In an instant, it became airborne.
Wildflowers flourish on ridge top serpentine.
Coyote Ridge supports a variety of birds, including the Lark Sparrow.
In an area devoid of trees, birds nest in ridge-top grasses.
And beneath rock ledges.
A clutch of Lark Sparrow eggs.
Chaparral Clematis.
View of inland valley from Coyote Ridge.
Spiny Thistle amid volcanic rock.
Santa Clara Valley Dudlea.
Indian Paintbrush with Anderson Reservoir in background.
A pale yellow Tiburon Indian Paintbrush.
A pair of Tiburon Indian Paintbrush find their way to the light.
Royal Larkspur.
Hedge Nettle blooms.
Sticky Monkey Flower.
Uh oh.... company.
Humans are tresspassers here.

I have need of the sky . . . I have business with the grasses . . .
I will up and away at break of day to where the hawk is
wheeling lone and high and where slow clouds drift by."
—Richard Hovey, 1894-1961

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