Twenty miles north and east of my home, in Del Norte County, California, sits Stoney Creek Trail.  There’s a very high level of precipitation and a unique serpentine geology in this area, which fosters an environment for many rare, endangered and unique plant species.  In Crescent City, where I live, there’s generally a precipitation level of about 70″ per year, and Gasquet, home of Stoney Creek Trail,  receives over 100 inches of rain per year.

It had just rained hard – for days – before I went to Stoney Creek, and I, determined to go whether it was raining or not.  The window of opportunity to see some of the rare, unique and endangered flora is small. I wished I had been there two weeks earlier… However, as I entered the trail, I became immediately enchanted, and this is what I saw, once I had entered the trail head.

This is a beautiful, spiritual experience for me and quite emotional.  It’s a privilege sharing a small part of it with you.

California Lady’s Slipper

This was the first time I’d ever seen the exquisite orchid, California Lady’s Slipper. There were several areas along the trail where this plant is growing.

Western Azalea

a scattering of single columbine

Only two of these beauties along the trail, edge of meadow

Siskiyou Iris, rained on and delicate, among evergreen huckleberry

I’m sure there were orchids or lilies here, but I was too late…

Douglas’s violet

Elegant Cat’s Ear, after being rained on… 😦

I was the only one like me.

Small meadow along the trail, with paintbrush and succulents

Hello, it’s me!! 😀

Anyone know?

more beauty I’ve never seen before

lichens along the trail, very spongy!

Darlingtonia Californica – this is the flower of the Darlingtonia, carnivorous plant and the only one of its kind.

An area of Darlingtonia Californica, the “leaf” area of the plant, also known as a “pitcher” plant. The light area at the top of the pitcher, or leaf, fools the insect inside into thinking that is the way out, and then falls to the bottom.

More Darlingtonia and an equal opportunity for all to catch insects.

a single Viola primulifolia, subspecies occidentalis, among the Darlingtonia and other plants

Madrone and azalea, along the trail. Madrone is related to Manzanita, a hardwood.

I hope you enjoyed a few of the photos I took along the trail. I’ll have more to come.   I’ve learned, today,  of yet another trail, which contains over 14 rare and endangered plants.  I look forward to sharing this with you in the not too distant future.  Stay close to the natural world, it’s good for you!

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