Image of the Month - May 2016

June 04, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

One of my favorite late spring hikes is the Mary Bowerman Trail near the summit of Mount Diablo.  The hike is not challenging by any means - less than a mile in length and and level.  However, the trail circles the summit and provides spectacular 360-degree views.  Even better are the wildflowers that continue to bloom as the lower slopes of the mountain are entering their dry summer dormancy.  While some of the flowers you find along the trail could have been observed in the lowlands earlier in the spring, others like this Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva), are only found at the highest elevations of the mountain - Eagle Peak, North Peak, and the chert slopes along the Mary Bowerman Trail at the summit.

Mary Bowerman was a botanist who performed the pioneering studies of the flora of Mount Diablo starting in the 1930s. This trail that now bears her name was originally named the "Fire Interpretive Trail".  It was constructed after fires in the late 1970s to educate visitors about fire ecology on the mountain.  Mary was instrumental in ensuring that impacts to the habitat along the trail, especially these talus slopes and rock outcrops, were minimized during construction. She was also a co-founder of the conservation organization, Save Mount Diablo, and remained actively involved with the organization until passing away in 2005 at the age of 97.  The trail was renamed in her honor in 2007.

May 2016May 2016Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva) blooming on the chert slopes along the Mary Bowerman Trail near the summit of Mount Diablo. Mary Bowerman was a botanist who performed pioneering studies of the flora of Mount Diablo starting in the 1930s. She was also a co-founder of the conservation organization, Save Mount Diablo in 1971.


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