Hicks Road
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Cait Hutnik, Photographer
Blazing Stars
April 2011
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 canyon 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 canyon.
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To see more Blazing Stars, visit: Rancho San Vicente.