CHARLTON FLAT, SAN GABRIEL MTS JULY 2012 PAGE ONE
Photographs by Michael Charters




Last weekend I joined a group of CNPS members led by Ginny Heringer, a schoolmate of mine in Bermuda of all places, for a wildflower foray into an area that I frankly thought would be fairly dry and did not have high expectations for, and how wrong I was. Charlton Flat, named for R.H. Charlton, supervisor of the Angeles National Forest 1905-1925, which lies along the Angeles Crest Highway between Shortcut Saddle and Chilao, was severely burned by the Station Fire of 2009, and the old historic wooden fire tower located on Vetter Mountain was sadly completely destroyed. But as is the case with other burned places, nature regenerates with a fury, and even this late in the season wildflowers were in great abundance. The star of the show here was the fantastic display of poodle-dog bush, more amazing than I have ever seen before. Hillsides were totally covered by this beautiful, tall, shrubby plant, and even though much of it was past its bloom, what is left is an incredible sight, and the sound of the bees in some places was almost overwhelming. I walked around the paved Forest Service road (3N16) a distance of only a couple of miles, a walk that normally takes an hour or less, and spent close to four hours botanizing. Surprisingly only a few other people were out and about, but the cool breeze and the ending of the humid period we had just been through joined to make this a glorious and highly enjoyable day for all who were there. As has been my practice for many of the locales I have surveyed this year, at least one return visit was necessary to rephotograph some things that didn't turn out very well, resolve some uncertain identifications, and cover some areas not entered and look for things not seen on the first trip, and I walked up the road to where the Vetter Mountain fire lookout tower was burned. An asterisk indicates a non-native taxon. Thanks to Bob Allen, Jane Strong, Hartmut Wisch, and Tom Chester for some help with various ids.


   
Mustang mint
Monardella breweri ssp. lanceolata
Lamiaceae


Smoothleaf yerba santa
Eriodictyon trichocalyx var. trichocalyx
Boraginaceae
 
 



 
 
 
Leafy daisy, Fleabane aster
Erigeron foliosus var. foliosus
Asteraceae
[Right: Blister beetles, family Meloidae]



 
 
Splendid gilia
Saltugilia splendens ssp. splendens
Polemoniaceae
 
 



Spanish clover
Acmispon americanus var. americanus
Fabaceae
 
 



   
Poodle-dog bush
Eriodictyon parryi
Boraginaceae


Chicalote
Argemone munita
Papaveraceae
 
 



 
Marine blue
Leptotes marina
Lycaenidae
  San Diego gopher snake
Pituophis catenifer annectens
Colubridae



 
 
Scouler's St. John's wort
Hypericum scouleri
Hypericaceae
 


   
Summer lupine
Lupinus formosus var. formosus
Fabaceae


CALFLORA.NET HOME PAGE