UPPER SOLSTICE CANYON, SANTA MONICA MTS APRIL 2009
PAGE ONE
Photographs by Michael Charters




This hike was on a section of the Backbone Trail through Upper Solstice Canyon, from the parking area at the top of Corral Canyon Road to the road below Castro Crest. I had planned to return via Castro Motorway, but I was chagrined to discover that the road has been closed, so it is not currently possible to do it as a loop hike. I was told by another hiker that the person who bought the antenna property on Castro Crest several years ago has a narrow slice of land that crosses Newton Motorway below the crest and refuses to allow people to cross his land without payments from the state. He has erected a massive gate with concertina wire and numerous warning signs about 24-hour video surveillance and criminal prosecution. Nevertheless, and despite the fact that there is hardly any water in Solstice Creek, there were many things blooming along the Backbone Trail, and it was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the mid-60's and a lovely breeze. I went back the following day to cover that section of the Castro Motorway which I had missed the day before and those pictures will be displayed on the next photo gallery. An asterisk next to the common name indicates a non-native species.


   
Globe gilia
Gilia capitata ssp. abrotanifolia
Polemoniaceae
 
Blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium bellum
Iridaceae
 
Scarlet bugler
Penstemon centranthifolius
Scrophulariaceae


 
Large-flowered phacelia
Phacelia grandiflora
Hydrophyllaceae


       
   
Common deerweed
Lotus scoparius var. scoparius
Fabaceae
   
   

Coast morning glory
Calystegia macrostegia
Convolvulaceae



     
Windmill pink *
Silene gallica
Caryophyllaceae
 
Bush mallow
Malacothamnus fasciculatus
Malvaceae


 
 
Chamise
Adenostoma fasciculatum
Rosaceae
 
 
Long-beaked storksbill *
Erodium botrys
Geraniaceae
Purple nightshade
Solanum xanti
Solanaceae
Caterpillar phacelia
Phacelia cicutaria var. hispida
Hydrophyllaceae
Redstem filaree *
Erodium cicutarium
Geraniaceae


 
Common eucrypta
Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia var. chrysanthemifolia
Hydrophyllaceae


   
Smooth cat's ear *
Hypochaeris glabra
Asteraceae


 
Golden yarrow
Eriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum
Asteraceae



   
Crimson spot rock-rose *
Cistus ladanifer var. maculatus
Cistaceae
 
San Diego County viguiera
Bahiopsis laciniata (= Viguiera laciniata)
Asteraceae
(Not native to this area, probably planted)