Saturday, June 7, 2014

Hike 2014.029 -- Gabrielino Trail to Lower Sturtevant Canyon, Angeles National Forest

Hiked Wednes-day, June 4. Hmmm. I guess this would have been the 25th anniver-sary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

I haven't been hiking that much recently. Even more so, I haven't had time to blog what few hikes I have been taking. As I write these words, this was the last one I took, although I may hike again before I actually get this posted. I have 3 or 4 other hikes that remain to be blogged.

This being a short and nearby hike for me, I've been here many times before. Most recently was back in March, when the water was slightly higher and I had my new telephoto lens to take some nice close-ups of the falling water.

I anticipated very low water, and had no other expectations about what else I might see. I just wanted to get myself a little walk in the woods, it having been far too long since my last hike. One thing I did decide to do was, rather than going to the base of the falls, I would stay on the lower Gabrielino Trail, which leaves the canyon just before Fiddler's Crossing, and heads just above the lip of Sturtevant Falls.

Along this trail, I had two pleasant floral surprises. The first was a single mariposa lily (first photo in this post), which I encountered a bit before reaching the lip of the falls. It was right adjacent to the trail, and it was a little hard to get a good angle on the bud.

This was the first mariposa lily I had seen on this side of the San Gabriel Mountains so far this year. Of course, admittedly, I have not been doing much hiking this year.

My second surprise was the two Humboldt lilies, which I found just above the lip of the falls, overlooking a deep alcove where a falls above "the" Sturtevant Falls. Hadn't seen any of these in at least a year.

Humboldt lilies are large and showy, and look so dramatic that it's hard to believe they're not part of someone's garden. Yet, while rare compared to many other wildflowers, I have seen them on several other hikes in southern California, including Lewis Falls and Topanga State Park.

Those two flower finds made me even happier that I managed to drag myself out of the house this day to get a little bit of mountain trail under my feet.
The other flowers I saw were Spanish broom (this last photo), Indian Pink (a couple photos up, overlooking that same alcove where I saw the Humboldt lily), and a whole bunch of wild mustard and monkey flower (which I did not photograph).

While overlooking the falls, I saw a flyfisherman. I don't really approve of fishing places where the water is so low and going to get lower and warmer, since the native trout there are already living on the edge, and don't need the additional stress of being caught and released.

About four miles for the day. Not much, but it was still nice to get out in the mountains, if only for a few hours. Got back to my car and drove out the gate at 7:57pm, just three minutes before the gate is ostensibly looked. Numerous cars and day hikers remained behind me, so either they got locked in, or they knew when the gate would actually be locked.

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