Sycamores, Platanus racemosa, line the parking lot at the trailhead.
A little closer shot of a Vinegarweed flower, Trichostema lanceolatum - the trichomes with its large glands of stored fluid are what give it its famous smell.
I figured, as long as I was heading back to the trail, I might as well take a picture of the Vinegarweed, Trichostema lanceolatum.
When I got back to my car, I realized I didn't have my sunglasses. Here, I spotted them on the trail.
Bottom view of a Ceraunus Blue Hemiargus ceraunus. Another hiker noted that for many hairstreaks/coppers/blues, the underside of the wing is critical to identifying the species, which is definitely true in this case.
Top view of a Ceraunus Blue Hemiargus ceraunus
Spines on a prickly pear
I'd guess this is another Camponotus maritimus, but one who has filled its stomach on the same trail snack?
One harvester ant trying to get a free ride.
Harvester ants showing off their mandibles.
More harvester ants. I believe in this case I was interested in the big orange sacs in their abdomens, but rather than indicating a different species, I think those are their stomachs, full of liquid sucked from the dropped food.
I'd bet that these are Forelius, which a professor at Palomar College, whose local insect documentation is spectacular, calls Orange Desert Ant.
Coming and going from their nest under a rock, these little yellow ants are tiny - much smaller than even the small Argentine ants familiar throughout urban San Diego.
Two harvester ants catch up on the gossip
A little closer of a view of the harvester ants
Harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex subnitidus feed on what appears to be a piece of snack dropped by a previous hiker.
I felt something on my leg, thinking it was a twig; but when I brushed it off it started crawling away.
Holly leaf cherry, Prunus ilicifolia ssp. ilicifolia
Aphids on the stem of a Short-pod Mustard, Hirschfeldia incana
I've gotta get in and put comments on pictures sooner, because 5 months later I no longer remember why I took this picture or kept it in the gallery...
Fruits, including one vacant receptacle, of a Cupped leaf ceanothus, Ceanothus perplexans
A closer detail of a leaf and leaf node of this Cupped leaf ceanothus, Ceanothus perplexans.
It looks very similar to the coastal Wart-stemmed ceanothus, Ceanothus verrucosus, and and the little warts by the leaf stem might lead you to first think of that, but wart-stemmed ceanothus is confined to the coast and has opposite leaves.
Cupped leaf ceanothus, Ceanothus perplexans. One of San Diego's most common ceanothuses.
Acorn on an Engelmann oak, Quercus engelmannii.
Wet moss glows greenly, taking advantage of the moisture to photosynthesize.
A more straight-on picture of the flower of the Common sandaster, Corethrogyne filaginifolia
Trying to get a little closer to see the stigma poking through the anther cylinder
Close-up of the flower of a Common sandaster, Corethrogyne filaginifolia
Common sandaster, Corethrogyne filaginifolia
Tips of the leaf blades of the Chaparral yucca, Hesperoyucca whipplei in profile
The leaf blades of this Chaparral yucca, Hesperoyucca whipplei radiate outward from its central rosette.
Another hiker tests the flexibility of the tip of the plant's leaf blades, wondering if it might be an unusual variant or hybrid
Chaparral yucca, Hesperoyucca whipplei, grows from a rock in the midst of this oak woodland
Well-cropped bunchgrasses leave behind mounds of their dense stems.
An Engelmann oak, Quercus engelmannii, shades its reddish leaf litter.
Another scrub oak, probably another Torrey hybrid oak, Quercus Xacutidens.
A rock covered with basket bush, Rhus aromatica, listed in Lightner as skunk bush and calflora as fragrant sumac.
The tip of the flower spear from a Western vervain, Verbena lasiostachys
San bernardino aster, Symphyotrichum defoliatum
Poison oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum, whose leaves are losing their color and starting to look like 'bacon bush'. A few of its dull white berries remain.
The nest of a packrat under a Coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia.
Close-up of an insect gall on an Arroyo willow, Salix lasiolepis leaf
A scrub oak, Torrey's hybrid oak, Quercus Xacutidens. The 'x' at the start of the specific name indicates that it's a hybrid, in this case believed to be between Engelmann oak, Quercus engelmannii and Desert scrub oak, Quercus cornelius-mulleri.
Seed ball from a California sycamore, Platanus racemosa.
Close-up of a flower cluster on a Salt marsh fleabane, Pluchea odorata var. odorata.
Salt marsh fleabane, Pluchea odorata var. odorata
Salt bush, though I didn't get enough of the plant to tell which
These perforated cement blocks demonstrate a modern trend of designing public works to allow more runoff to percolate into the ground where feasible, recharging groundwater basins that water trees and reducing river flows downstream.
Speaking of Amtrak....
Another view of the channel showing ongoing construction. The current single-track will soon multiply into 2 heavy-rail tracks serving the current freight, Coaster, and Amtrak trains, and 2 light-rail tracks that will be exclusive to the new Trolley line.