SUMMARY: Hiking with the dogs. And agility friends. And their dogs.
We all met up at Morgan Territory Regional Preserve at 10 a.m., and from looking at us, you'd'a thunk it was the middle of January. Brrr, cold wind! I took my hat off while lining up the camera to take a self-timed photo (since I didn't think to take my remote shutter release with me), but it went back on right after this.
This was an equal opportunity agility dog expedition:
Golden Retriever, Australian Shepherd, Standard Poodle (black), Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Craussie, Border Collie Mix, and four border collies. Can you find the poodle in this photo?
Turns out they're rare ("of conservation concern"), bloom only late spring to early summer, and only on Mount Diablo (we were in the hills surrounding Mt. Diablo). I'm the only one lucky enough to have seen them--or at least, I think so; everyone else was ahead and out of sight.
The Mount Diablo Fairy Lantern (Calochortus pulchellus):
I survived the hike but everything was sore--both hips, right knee, and a new hitch in one thigh, too, when I tried trotting on the trail to catch up. Even if I wasn't stopping to take a quick photo, I fell behind both on the uphill and on the downhill. Gotta get these sore bits fixed and get back to hiking regularly!
Tika and Boost loved it. They particularly loved rolling in the cow poo, repeatedly, which is what they did last time we were there, dagnabbit. You can hardly even see it in this photo, though. (Mount Diablo behind.)
More wildflowers, more dogs, more hikers, are in my Smugmug photo gallery: http://elf1.smugmug.com/Hiking/Morgan-Territory-may-2011