Wildflower trip - Lancaster, CA - March 2010

. . . After we had spent the morning learning about mushrooms (see this post), we stopped for a bite to eat and then headed to an area near the poppy reserve in Lancaster.

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We'd hoped the wildflowers would be in full bloom, but we were a few weeks early. Check out my previous trips to the Antelope Valley here to see how the blooms looked in years past.

Still, there were small areas of poppies and they are so bright and beautiful. It's always great to get out of the city into the fresh air. It's always so quiet there too.

Here's a poppy about to bloom. P took this pic.

We were also delighted to see a puffball mushroom (Calvatia gigantea). We'd heard about them at the mycology lecture, but hadn't seen any earlier in the day. And here they were! A bunch of them. This is a very small one. They can get to get up to 28 inches across!

After that, we ended up at the Ripley Desert Woodland because we noticed some Joshua Trees in bloom. They are still so alien looking to me.

Here's where we were:

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Of course, at this point all of our cameras died which left us disappointed, but helped remind us that it's the experiences we have, not the photos of those experiences, that matter.

Before heading back to LA, V wanted to find some lupines, an amazing smelling purple wildflower that looks like this:

(I took this photo the first time I went to Antelope Valley in 2008.)

We were by Lake Elizabeth . . .
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and we hiked up an incredibly steep and gravelly hill to get to some patches of lupines. Most of the other flowers on the hill were goldfield. It was a rough hike at some points, but once we got to the top and looked back down at the lake the sun was starting to set and it was so beautiful. Ducks on the lake. Flowers surrounding us. And just when we were trying to figure out how we were going to get down, we found a road that led us right back to the car. Perfect.

Click here for more of my photos of the Lancaster region wildflowers.