MISHE MOKWA TRAIL/SANDSTONE PEAK, SANTA MONICA MTS
MAY 2009 PAGE ONE
Photographs by Michael Charters




This is one of my favorite locations in the Santa Monica Mountains. It is about as remote as you can get in that range which is so close to metropolitan :Los Angeles. The trailhead is along Yerba Buena Road 1 mile east of Circle X Ranch and the loop trail to Split Rock and then up around the sandstone ridge of Sandstone Peak, which is the highest point of the Santa Monicas, is about 7 miles in length. This trail is interesting both floristically and geologically, overlooking as it does the Echo Cliffs and the precariously positioned Balanced Rock, and passing sandstone and volcanic rock formations. I have been trying to find out what Mishe Mokwa means. Longfellow's poem "Song of Hiawatha" includes the following: "Then he swung aloft his war club/Shouted loud and long his war cry,/Smote the mighty Mishe Mok-
wa/In the middle of the forehead,/Right between the eyes he smote him." Mishe Mokwa was a great bear in that poem, but this usage derives from local Chippewa tribal mythology in Wisconsin or Michigan and may not apply here. If anyone knows, please contact me. I want to express my appreciation to Jay Sullivan who has kindly taken time to study my recent Santa Monica pages and to let me know about several identifications that needed correcting. An asterisk next to the common name indicates a non-native taxon. Thanks to Jane Strong for the snake identification. Some unfamiliar species/genus/family names may increasingly be noticed in these galleries as I am trying to adjust to the new taxonomy. Some new names have already crept into previous galleries, but I am not going to go back and change the others.



   
Yellow monkeyflower
Mimulus brevipes
Scrophulariaceae
 
Turkish rugging
Chorizanthe staticoides
Polygonaceae
 
Woolly blue curls
Trichostema lanatum
Lamiaceae


 
Crete weed *
Hedypnois cretica
Asteraceae


       
   
Black sage
Salvia mellifera
Lamiaceae
   
    Mustard evening primrose, California sun cup
Camissonia californica
Brassicaceae


   
Catalina mariposa lily
Calochortus catalinae
Liliaceae
 
 


     
Wild oats *
Avena sp.
Poaceae
 
Blue dicks
Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum
Themidaceae


 
 
Hollyleaf redberry
Rhamnus ilicifolia
Rhamnaceae
 
 
Wild celery
Apiastrum angustifolium
Apiaceae
Star lily
Zigadenus fremontii
Melanthiaceae
Slender tarplant
Deinandra fasciculata (= Hemizonia fasciculata)
Asteraceae
Purple nightshade
Solanum xanti
Solanaceae


   
Narrow-leaved bedstraw
Galium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium
Rubiaceae


 
California chicory
Rafinesquia californica
Asteraceae


 
 
Parry's phacelia
Phacelia parryi
Hydrophyllaceae
 
Caterpillar phacelia
Phacelia cicutaria var. hispida
Hydrophyllaceae
White pincushion
Chaenactis artemisiifolia
Asteraceae
   


 
Chaparral yucca
Hesperoyucca whipplei (= Yucca whipplei)
Agavaceae