On Highway 199 in Gasquet, along the side of the road, I’d pass a tiny sign stating “Botanical Trail,” many times.  I had to stop and find out what was on that trail besides mosquitoes. There’s a new sign now, too, a bit more inviting.

Parking is on the opposite side of Highway 199, next to the pristine Smith River.  Thankfully, there’s a clear view both ways and since it’s not heavily populated area, it’s easy to get across.  The trail, only about .3 miles, accessible by wheelchair and walker.  A man with a walker was ahead of us, with his wife and grandchildren.  His walker made a sound like someone chopping down trees, so we hustled to see what all the hubbub was about.  We chuckled with him when we finally reached him and “the noise.”

Part of the Darlingtonia Californica bog

There are two landing areas for viewing the bog.

  The plants had already bloomed but the view was stunning, regardless.

Next to the bog are two mature, tall Jeffrey Pine trees.  The bark looks like puzzle pieces. I love puzzles!

Jeffrey Pine bark

I studied the depth and intensity of color –  fascinating.

Jeffrey Pine – layers

Here’s a  picture of the larger of the two pines, from the ground up.

My mediocre camera didn’t do very well for this view.

Looking up at the top of Jeffrey Pine.

The trail had plenty of poison oak and various wildflowers.  I did step off of the trail into an open meadow.

Elegant Cat’s Ear

knotweed

I noticed some unusually vivid color next to the trail, and took a closer look. Some Manzanita leaves had fallen, and had changed color.  Here’s one leaf,  which I found beautiful, the patterning striking.

Manzanita leaf, no longer needed.

Beautiful, glossy green Manzanita leaves –

Manzanita

Here’s a small path through a meadow, off of the main trail.  No one seems to have gone further than the log up ahead.

path less traveled

Grandma made her way out quickly – must have been the ‘squitoes, and the rest of the family followed.  I went back to the bog and took another picture.

another area of bog

There are beautiful Pacific Madrone everywhere in this area.

Manzanita family

I haven’t been able to name the beauty below yet, but I’m getting close!

Viola – what is your name?

If you’d like a look at the Darlingtonia flower, I did catch it a month earlier on Stoney Creek Trail.  Have a look at the post when you have time.  I’ll be visiting “Botanical Trail” toward the end of May, next year!

Distribution of Darlingtonia californica

Distribution of Darlingtonia californica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Darlingtonia californica flower, not seen in the bog, but a month earlier on another trail.

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