Summer Rain and Everything Bagels

Welcome neglecterinos to an odd stormy looking Friday, I hope I get pelted with drizzle again today.  If there is anything I miss most from my 30 years in New York it is summer rain (and bagels and pizza and decent Italian food).

First off, the indefatigable Doktor Lanny will be heading north for another adventure:

Herb Walks with Lanny Kaufer will return to the Los Padres
National Forest on Saturday, July 14, for a hike on the Sespe River Trail,
20 miles north of Ojai in the Sespe Wilderness. The hike will cover about
2 miles each way on a wide, well-used trail with gradual elevation gain
through chaparral and riparian settings. Starting out at 3060 feet hikers will
see plants flowering that have already finished down below as well as others
such as Great Basin Sagebrush that don’t grow at all at lower elevations.
The elevation change is very gradual on this trail and the river valley is
surrounded by mountains and unusual rock formations. The Sespe is a
designated “Wild and Scenic River” thanks to the tireless efforts of the Keep
Sespe Wild Committee (

The focus, as usual, will be on identifying wild plants and learning about
the many ways that they have been used, and continue to be used, by the
Chumash people, herbalists, foragers, campers and gardeners for food,
medicine, wildcrafting, survival, landscaping, crafts and more. This is
another in our new series of backcountry walks and hikes under a Special
Use Permit from the Ojai Ranger District Office of the U.S. Forest Service
designed for outfitters and guides who provide recreational and interpretive
services to the public.

The walk will begin with a carpool from the Maricopa Plaza parking lot at
8:30 am and return there by 12:30 pm. The cost is $25 for adults and $15 for
full-time students and seniors 62 and older. Kids 5-12 can go free with an
adult by prior arrangement. Toddlers must be in a carrier. No dogs, please.

Thanks Lanny!  Next I’ve got an honest to goodness mystery plant.  The last few I’ve known and I threw out there to test you.  I’m pretty stumped here.  These 2 foot tall sticks were growing on the side of the trail up Gridley in part shade.  Small yellowish irregular flowers bloomed all up the stalk from top to bottom, no foliage to speak of anymore, not sure if there was ever any.  Have a look:

Mystery plant, prehistoric looking 2 foot long sticks in the part shade

Covered in tiny yellow/white blooms that look like monkeyflowers

A cursory lap through the Santa Monica Mt Flower Finder didn’t help, maybe I missed something?  Let’s hear your ideas….

Finally some pics from the last week or so.  It’s going to be a long dry summer, but there are still some blooms if you know where to look.  The first few are from my hike up Gridley.  Then the Queen of the Mojave Sarah made a triumphant return to our humble county for a holiday break, I dragged her up Howard Creek to the ridge and back.

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This entry was posted in Hiking Trail, Mystery plant, Native Plants, Ojai and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Summer Rain and Everything Bagels

  1. Lanny Kaufer says:

    RE your mystery plant, you’re on target with the monkey flower reference. Dig a little deeper into the Figwort family and I think you’ll find it.

  2. Lanny Kaufer says:

    Oh, by the way, maybe it’s a matter of taste, preference and familiarity but have you ever tried a really good West Coast bagel from an L.A. deli?

  3. Sarah says:

    My friend Matt and I think it looks like a type of Rein Orchid. 3 petals, 3 sepals.

  4. Lanny Kaufer says:

    Yes, I, too, will defer to Sarah’s choice. Nice find!

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