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Cait Hutnik, Photographer
|In spring, early summer wildflowers flourish in sunny areas along Hicks.|
|In one narrow canyon, a large patch of Blazing Stars bloom.|
|Driving by on the road below, you probably wouldn't notice them.|
|Lindley's Blazing Star is one of California's most spectacular wildflowers.|
|This is an uncommon wildflower not often seen as it tends to grow on steep, rocky slopes.|
|The patch along Hicks Road is in typical habitat.|
|But it is a difficult environment for taking photos.|
|If you decide to visit the spot where the Blazing Stars bloom.|
|Be very careful. You will be in a steep area high above the road.|
|The red shale soil is slippery and can give way beneath your feet.|
|It is best to hike a short ways in laterally which will
bring you to a spot above the patch of Blazing Stars.
|There are narrow "squirrel trails" into the area, but not really wide enough for safe foot-holds.|
|The entrance to the arroyo is a great place to see and photograph butterflies.|
|There's lots of non-native Smooth Hawk's Beard,
which butterflies like this Northern Checkerspot feed upon.
|A Field Crescent sips nectar from an Italian Thistle, another invasive plant species.|
|A Common Ringlet rests briefly on a California Poppy blossom.|
|The Chalcedon Checkerspot is another frequent visitor to this narrow arroyo.|
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To see more Blazing Stars, visit: Rancho San Vicente.