Join Shelly Benson, president of the California Lichen Society, as she introduces us to our California State Lichen, Lace Lichen, and the diversity of other species to be found in all the various habitats of the Rock Spring area.
This dry spring might hold some surprises, but we hope to find in bloom several of this Marin County Open Space preserve’s rare plants, including Tiburon mariposa lily (Calochortus tiburonensis), found only at this location, and Marin dwarf flax (Hesperolinon congestum). Other lovely flowers we can expect to see include Ithuriel’s spear (Triteleia laxa) and farewell-to-spring (Clarkia rubicunda).
In addition to searching through the forest looking for the fairy slipper orchid, Calypso bulbosa, we’ll explore the trails around the upper Rock Spring meadow, enjoy a picnic lunch, then head down the Cataract Trail as far as participants wish to hike, enjoying other early wildflowers and a diverse array of ferns.
This slow-paced walk will take us from the San Andreas trailhead up to the nearby volcanic-rock hill and the woodlands by the water tank. From there we’ll cross a marshy field which is usually rich with annual wildflowers. Then we’ll go uphill to the largest vernal pool in Marin County.