Nancy Accola, Jan Auburn, Walt Fidler, Baltasar Pimentel, Don Rideout, Jim Roberts, and I had a delightful time botanizing the area southwest of June Wash, as well as a bit of the Vallecito Creek Area near June Wash.  We saw 69 species in bloom, a new record for this year.  The list of plants in bloom is at the end of this email.

Jim and Don posted a whopping 119 observations of 66 species at iNat:,lagoondon

You can click on the "Map" tab to see exactly where we were.

Of those posts, 92 obs were marked as being in bloom, of 50 species:,lagoondon

We met up the beginning of June Wash, when we saw Walt's car there, at around 11:30 a.m.

We started hiking just before noon by heading southwest from the car toward the canyons.   We first explored a small canyon that looked like it might have some good cliffs, and then went into a bigger canyon with pronounced banks extending as ridges into the alluvial slopes.

One of Nancy's favorite flowers is turtleback, and she wasted no time spotting a group of about ten plants in bloom close to the cars, after several of us had already passed by them.

My pix of the "discovery site", showing how easy it was to walk by them:

Nancy's pix showing the beautiful "turtle backs":

Jim's post:

Don's post:

I was a bit surprised that we were in badland rocks in the entire area we hiked southwest of S22.  I had hoped some of the canyons might have solid rock with sheer cliffs that would have Petalonyx linearis, but they were all badland sedimentary rock as far as we went.

But that was ok; it meant we got to enjoy badlands plants such as Aliciella latifolia (=Gilia l.):

Don's post:

Jim's posts:

One surprise was to see a small number of plants of Lupinus arizonicus with tall bloom stalks:

Jim's posts:

Don's post:

We got in our Mentzelia involucrata, Mohavea confertiflora (ghost flower), and Mentzelia hirsutissima fix:

Ghost flower

Jim's post:

Don's post:

M. involucrata:

Don's posts:

Jim's post:

M. hirsutissima:

Jim's posts:

There was one five spot with a bud that was probably going to open the next day:

Don's post:

Jim's post:

We saw a number of other cuties like desert star, nama, and Diplacus bigelovii.  For pix of those and others, see the link at the top.

We went up the larger canyon until the going became slower.  Don took some nice pix of us in the canyon, and the scenery, just before we turned around:

Baltasar, showing the view down canyon:

Tom and Walt, showing one of the canyon walls:

The weathering of the canyon side walls was peculiar.  In one spot, there was a deep gash that extended almost to the top, but not quite.  In several other spots, the alluvial fan looked like it had been bulldozed smooth, with a very flat surface that of course sloped at a steep angle.

On the way down the canyon, someone spotted a nice double sun dog.  There are three arcs in the following pix.  I think the upper rainbow section is part of the 22 deg halo, and it has a whitish "upper tangent arc" curving away from the rainbow section.  The lower arc might be a "Parry arc", but I'm not sure about that.  There are lots of complicated patterns in such sky phenomena, which all depend on the shape and orientation of the ice crystals in the clouds at each point in the sky.

Don's pix:

Nancy's pix:

After exploring two canyons, we decided to go back across S2 to the land of sand verbena displays.  Jim went ahead and hustled back to his car, so he could drive most of the way home before dark.

Don took a great pix of Walt leading the rest of us through some of the fabby displays to look for Astragalus insularis harwoodii that he had seen there in the past so abundantly that he had named this "Harwoodii Hill":

We were running out of daylight at this point, so returned to the cars.  Don, Jan, and Baltasar called it a day, while Walt, Nancy and I drove to the single Astragalus insularis harwoodii that Walt had spotted earlier that day.  My post of it:

List of plants in bloom on our hike:

#Pls in bloom    Name

99    Abronia villosa var. villosa
99    Achyronychia cooperi
99    Allionia incarnata var. incarnata
99    Chamaesyce micromera
99    Chamaesyce setiloba
99    Cryptantha angustifolia
99    Ditaxis lanceolata
99    Hyptis emoryi
99    Monoptilon bellioides
99    Palafoxia arida var. arida
99    Pectis papposa var. papposa
99    Perityle emoryi
99    Phacelia distans
99    Trichoptilium incisum

50    Cryptantha maritima

40    Physalis crassifolia
40    Senecio mohavensis

30    Aliciella latifolia ssp. latifolia
30    Dalea mollissima

25    Encelia farinosa
25    Eriogonum inflatum
25    Geraea canescens
25    Mentzelia involucrata
25    Mimulus bigelovii var. bigelovii
25    Phacelia crenulata var. minutiflora
25    Plantago ovata
25    Psathyrotes ramosissima

20    Boerhavia triquetra var. intermedia
20    Croton californicus
20    Eremothera refracta
20    Eschscholzia minutiflora ssp. minutiflora
20    Eschscholzia parishii
20    Fagonia laevis
20    Justicia californica
20    Lepidium lasiocarpum ssp. lasiocarpum

15    Ericameria paniculata

10    Aristida adscensionis
10    Chylismia claviformis ssp. peirsonii
10    Eremothera boothii ssp. condensata
10    Eriogonum thomasii
10    Erodium cicutarium
10    Langloisia setosissima ssp. setosissima
10    Mirabilis laevis var. retrorsa
10    Mohavea confertiflora
10    Psorothamnus spinosus

5    Acmispon strigosus
5    Dithyrea californica
5    Encelia frutescens
5    Eulobus californicus
5    Mentzelia albicaulis
5    Mentzelia hirsutissima
5    Petalonyx thurberi ssp. thurberi

4    Lupinus arizonicus
4    Phacelia pedicellata

3    Lyrocarpa coulteri

2    Adenophyllum porophylloides
2    Chylismia cardiophylla ssp. cardiophylla
2    Nama demissa var. demissa

1    Astragalus insularis var. harwoodii
1    Bahiopsis parishii
1    Bebbia juncea var. aspera
1    Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia
1    Chamaesyce pediculifera
1    Cuscuta psorothamnensis
1    Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens
1    Hilaria rigida
1    Loeseliastrum schottii
1    Psorothamnus emoryi
1    Stephanomeria pauciflora

tom chester