I was so happy that the Humboldt lilies (Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum) were still blooming while I was out in Cuyamaca. I swear it’s impossible to take a bad picture of these flowers, they’re just so beautiful! I’ve shown a few people this picture and they’ve been blown away that something so striking grows in San Diego. The natural areas in San Diego are perceived by many to be dry and barren and worthless, but in reality this county is a biodiversity hotspot and home to unique habitats and some truly beautiful plants and animals.
I gave a little mini speech the other day in a public speaking class on why the tarantula hawk wasp (Pepsis sp.) is the coolest animal. Point one in favor of this wasp, just look at those beautiful colors! It’s so hard to really capture how iridescent they are with an iPhone camera! (Wasp is on narrow leaf milkweed - Asclepias fascicularis)
Ever since I got my new lens, all the macro/telephoto shots I took with my old one just aren’t cutting it for me so I feel very unmotivated to share them. But here’s a recent monarch trio from the new lens, so so so happy with it @canonusa @bhphoto #canon100400ii
This columbine plant was so tall! Western columbine (Aquilegia formosa) grows alongside stream banks where it won’t be water stressed. The shape and orientation of the flower encourages hummingbirds (or other pollinator) to approach the flower from below and reach all the way in to the nectar containing spurs. This forces the pollinator to brush against the reproductive parts on their way in, either picking up pollen or depositing pollen they had picked up from another flower.
Native St. John’s wort (Hypericum scouleri) growing along a stream. There are invasive species from Europe that look very similar, but they tend to thrive in disturbed areas vs. relatively undisturbed streams.
Came across this dragonfly laying her eggs in a still section of a stream. I think she’s a Pacific spiketail dragonfly (Cordulegaster dorsalis). Dragonfly eggs hatch into predatory aquatic larvae.
Scarlet keckiella (Keckiella ternata) is a summer bloomer. It can be found in the mountains of San Diego (and other Southern California counties up to about Kern. The red tube-like shape of the flower tells you this is a plant that has co-evolved with hummingbird pollinators.
Took a hike up to Stonewall peak.
If you zoom in, you can see the sign at the top.
"With every passing storm.." Incredible stormy skies graced by an endless Rainbow over Stonewall Peak - Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, CA - 7.11.18
📍📷 To book a one on one photography workshop or to purchase prints, head to my website at 🌎 frankcolosiphotography.com •
➡️ Tools if the Trade: @canonusa
5D Mk III, Sigma 14-24 f2.8 ART, @Siruiusa
WPS W-2204 tripod and K-20x head, @loweprobags
Whistler BP 450 pack
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From crystal clear skies to storm clouds and heavy rain, this day was full of twists and turns in the mountain weather.. Today was one of those days that both feels peaceful and electric all at once. From the high ridges of Julian overlooking the hazy Borrego in the mid day we knew that the winds were coming together with distant storm clouds moving over our own home town seen from some number of miles away.. The heat of the day broke into a cool breeze and helped move away with it the humidity that has consumed every breathe for the last number of days. As we returned home we found our home cleansed from the passing storm, only to wish we had been at home to see the rain fall with our own eyes.. A break in the late afternoon held promise that tonights sunset might be something of only ones dreams. Storms over the mountains and heavy rain coming in again from the east, we took a chance and headed north.. My mind focused on finding a grand view of the gathering skies, we made our way toward an old familiar place only to retrace our steps moments later.. Some year or so ago, I had seen this amazing tree sitting lone on this small ridge.. With every trip to the park I've passed its silhouette countless times waiting for the right night to make the trek to meet this amazing symbol of resilience and nature. With an amazing rainbow forming from one end of the world to the other, the vision of this tree set against the backdrop of this amazing sky would not leave my mind. Taking the steep steps to the top, breathing heavy as the pace quickened as not to miss this amazing show, it immediately came clear this was where I was supposed to be..
A native bee visits a thistle in full bloom. This bee is in the family Megachilidae. Bees in this family have their pollen carrying structure (or scopa) on the underside of their abdomens. That sounds complicated, but what it really means is that they have fuzzy tummies 😂 If anyone knows what genus/species this bee is, let me know, I’m trying to get better at bee ID!
Gooood moooorning San Diego
Foothill penstemon (Penstemon heterophyllus) is endemic to California, meaning it is only found here. It grows in the higher elevation areas of San Diego. I love the bright yellow of the flower buds before they open! 💛💜
Red monardella (Monardella macrantha) is a member of the mint family. It grows low to the ground in woodland or forest habitats in the coastal mountain ranges of California. The bright red flowers have no problem attracting hummingbirds!
Stonewall Peak was dope 💨
Imbricate phacelia (Phacelia imbricata) looking a bit ethereal. Imbricate means “edges overlapping (like roof tiles).” This plant was growing along the edges of the trail and was attracting a lot of bees!
Roundleaf leather-root (Hoita orbicularis) is a California endemic (meaning it can only be found within the borders of California) that grows throughout the California mountains in moist habitats. It is a member of the pea family, and has the distinctive flower shape of that family.
A little blue butterfly (Euphilotes sp.) visiting a leafy daisy flower (Erigeron foliosus). I could sit in a patch of flowers and watch which insects come to visit all day long.
Little paintbrush (Castilleja minor) is, like other species of paintbrush, a hemiparasite - meaning that it takes some but not all of its nutrients from other plants. It is more slender in appearance than other species, making it easy to identify.
It’s been too long. Feeling normalized. 🖤⛰
Western azalea (Rhododendron occidentale) is the only California native species of azalea and can be found in the mountains of San Diego County. North American azaleas like this one are deciduous. This species blooms in spring and summer and was attracting some butterfly visitors while I was photographing it!
Western columbine (Aquilegia formosa) prefers to grow in moist locations such as stream banks. The nectar is contained in spurs protruding from the back of the flower. The long spurs tell you this flower is pollinated by animals that can reach into them, such as Sphinx moths. This is one of my favorite flowers ❤️💛
Instead of dusting pollinators with loose pollen, milkweeds distribute their pollen in waxy bundles called pollinia. As a bee (like this carpenter bee) walks from flower to flower, it’s feet slip into flowers and stick to pollinia, pulling them out. You can see how the bee in the video seems to struggle against the flowers as it moves. Swipe to see just how many pollinia this bee had stuck all over it! A+ pollinator!
California wild roses (Rosa californica) look simple compared to ornamental roses, but are just as beautiful (if not more so) than their cultivated cousins. This rose is native to chaparral and woodlands and often grows forming thickets near water sources.
Swipe to see epic pictures!🐾🐾
5,500+ feet total elevation gain,
6 hours, 44 minutes, the cutoff is 8.5 hours.
All on the peak course. ⛰⛰
3 new personal bests set with this run.🦄🦄🦄
I finished way under the time limit they have so I'm feeling very confident and happy. Everything seemed to click on this run. I'm going to taper until the 50k on Saturday, July 14. Come support me in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park at the Sweetwater trailhead around 8 am. 🏃♂️🏃♂️
Time includes everything; a bathroom break, hiking breaks, a short talk with three really nice men all named Ken, and a short talk with a man who claimed to be the second coming of Jesus Christ? He also said I had the soul of Mitt Romney who, in case you didn't know, will be the next president! Incredible day all around 😂😂
If you have a second, please go check out my running for Rescues page. The link is in my bio, on my profile page. Thank you everyone! 🤗🤗
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