Monday, February 8, 2010

Verdugo Mts.

Canyon sweet pea (above)

Chaparral currant (above)
Prickly Cryptantha (above)

Woolly blue curls (above at the summit)

Black sage (above)
Spanish broom (above)
Manzanita (above)

I went for a hike in the Verdugo mountains along the Northeast side of the range. It's interesting how different the east side is compared to the west. Along the east, there are more trees and the vegetation seems thicker. It was also nice to hear water pouring through the canyons. Every other time I've hiked here, it's been dry as a bone. I saw some familiar wildflowers today, I think the highlight was finding some blue woolly curls at the top of the mountain. I've noticed I've started hiking differently as of late. My eyes are glued to the plants, trees and flowers along the side of the trail and it's taking me forever to get from point A to point B. In fact, I feel like I've got whiplash from turning my head from side to side. I'm not sure what to make of it, perhaps it's just a phase I'm in at the moment. Another storm is coming our way tomorrow. I heard on the radio that the snow line may drop as low as 2000 feet. That means snow in the Verdugos! We'll have to see about that...


  1. Mark, I am trying to understand which are the Verdugos. I grew up (from age 6) in Glendale right off N. Verdugo Road. I always thought/guessed that the hills around us were the San Rafaels.
    In the seventh shot above are you looking across the 134 freeway towards Burbank?
    I think the yellow puffball tree/shrub may be an acacia. Was it fragrant? They usually are.

  2. I think you have a book in your future! Photos and descriptions of the local Mountains and the flowers to be found in them. Also, you could list the trails you found them on, something about the trail, etc.
    Think about it. You've got so much material and you are so drawn to it. Love looking at your images.

  3. LeBird, actually, the 7th shot is looking across the 210 right after it splits from the 2, if you drive to the left (north) it will take you to Sunland in probably 3 to 5 minutes. Strawberry Peak and San Gabriel Peak are cloaked in the clouds. The Verdugos are the ridge of mountains that run parallel and are between Griffith Park and the San Gabriel's. They are also right between the 5 and the 210.

  4. LeBird, if I'm not mistaken the San Rafael's are the mountain range located outside of Santa Barbara. Yes, the yellow puffball tree was very fragrant! Thanks for the ID!!

    Thanks Kate, writing a book would be kind of cool. Did you enjoy living in the Canyon? Seems there is lot's of history there. I read a book about it while I stayed there, I can't remember what it was called, but it was all about the history, mainly the musical history of Laurel Canyon...

  5. Is it typical to see so many flowers this time of year? Your photos are wonderful and it gave me a chuckle to think of describing mountains via freeways. Thanks for all of your postings!

  6. Mark, Thanks for the information. So, is Eagle Rock visible in that shot? It is kinda funny describing the hills in terms of the freeways, only in LA! I'm no expert on plants, just a backyard gardener, but I have a little sister who has a degree in horticulture, I bet she could ID some things. Some men in black once brought her real opium poppies to ID... I'll ask her if she wants to follow your blog. Kate, you think Babe will go for it?
    I look forward to your postings, too. Everything looks familiar, the light and the big panoramic shots, but extra fresh, and remarkably verdant and alive. Who knew all those flowers were in the hills?
    When we were kids we used to hike in the hills behind our house where the 2 now is. There was a stream in the middle of the summer and a sandy spot perfect for volleyball, and a big rock that stuck out where we could sit and look across to the hills on the other side of Verdugo Road and up at the Crest. Do you remember that Kate?
    Lastly, I put in my vote that you use the shot at the top of your blog as the book cover. Makes me smile every time I see it.

  7. Robin, I'm not really sure if it's normal to see these flowers this time of year. Posting them one after the other on the blog may be a bit decieving. Most of the hike consists of coastal shrub and chaparral, and every so often the flowers appear. Perhaps I'm capturing the early arrivals. I have to stress too, how easy it is to simply walk right past them and never know they were hiding under a bush or something.

  8. Mark, don't forget to take photos of the creepy crawlies. The insect life can be just as interesting.

  9. Michael, good idea, I can't wait for the snakes!