Carol Rush took this photo of golden Western Wallflowers (Erysimum capitatum) and pinkish-purple Farewell-to-Spring (Clarkia cylindrica). Carol says, "These are still blooming as if spring will never end! I found these plus several other wildflowers blooming on the east side of Black Mountain above West Golden Hills."
Carol and her husband, Chris, live in West Golden Hills and raised their children in Tehachapi. The wildlife, scenery and natural values are among the reasons that the Rushes have stayed in Tehachapi for many years.
Farewell-to-Spring, which were once known by the charming name Speckled Fairyfan because the inside of the petals appear to be lightly splattered with purple paint, have had an incredible year. The hillsides in some places, including on the Loop Ranch property near Broome Road, are awash with the light pinkish-purple of Farewell-to-Spring.
This aptly named wildflower does signal that spring is drawing to a close, and they typically bloom in May. The late rains this year have been especially beneficial to them, and are part of the reason that Farewell-to-Spring is having such a banner year.
There are several different species of Clarkia in Kern County, including one with very unusually-shaped petals that oldtimers called Gunsight Fairyfan, because the petals do resemble the shape of a the metal gunsight at the end of an old rifle.
We have been blessed with an unusually wet rainy season and an abundance of flowers has followed in its wake.
NATURAL SIGHTINGS is a regular feature of the Tehachapi News edited by Jon Hammond which showcases photos of the natural beauty that enhances the quality of life in Tehachapi. If you have a good quality image of plants, animals, insects, trees, birds, weather phenomena, etc., taken in the Tehachapi area, you may submit it to the Tehachapi News for possible publication. Submissions can be dropped by the News office in the form of a print or CD, or sent by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.