Along our various walks, we joked that we would not get tired, for every 10 paces there was some stunning vista or dazzling wildflower to enjoy and photograph. The guide book would estimate a one mile hike around Rock Creek Lake would take one hour; We took two. Bodie State Historic Park could be strolled through in two hours; We took four. Over a series of blog posts, I will provide some of those colorful wildflowers which we came upon on our walks in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains.
Of course, capturing the image is one task, identifying each flower is another. Fortunately, several of the places that we visited had well-stocked gift shops with shelves of field guides for every variety of flora and fauna which one might seek. Having the full-set of Torrey Peterson guides at home, I was hesistant to purchase another on wildflowers of the west. Then I came across the Lone Pine Wildflowers of the Eastern Sierra and Adjoining Mohave Desert and Great Basin. There shall be more trips this way in the future.
I like the organization of the book, as it starts with a Quick Key of 19 pages of thumb-nail photos arranged by color, which directs you to the likely flower which you photographed. If that page reference does not seem quite right, the index will let you know the variations of the flower, such as ten types of Penstemon or seven types of Lupin. Then, each region from the Desert to Steppe to Mix-Forest to Apline climate-elevation regions have listing of flowers found there. Thus if color does not work, start thumbing through the type of region where your hike occured. Rock Creek Lake and Devil’s Postpile hikes were in Mixed-Forests, while Bodie State Historic Park and Mono Lake were in the Steppe (or even Desert) regions.
I thought that I might do a similar blog series on trees we came across. However, my brother-in-law and I mostly had this expression when we tried to identify bark, needles, and pine cones. Enjoy the flowers.