I woke up to freezing temperatures in the Pinnacles yesterday. Light rains from the night before had turned to ice. My poor car that rarely leaves the coast looked like a frosty Christmas decoration. I did not start a campfire. I started my day hike instead.
Cold mist dissolved quickly into cold air that lingered all day.
Going uphill you don't notice it tho'.
I believe this is some variety of Eriogonum fasciulatus, resplendent in winter red? Elsewhere I saw larger specimens in the deepest ruddy hues.
I suspect there's a lot of splitting and nomenclutter in manzanita taxonomy, and I am no expert. But for obvious reasons, I will venture to call this one Arctostaphylos glauca. I believe the greater Bay Area its northern-most range, which then fans out over the whole of southern California.
California gray pine (Pinus sabiniana) is the only conifer in the Pinnacles.
Before this trip, I had not seen the Pinnacles in 30 years. My dad took me here several times when I was young. It seems strange that I remember so little of it considering that when I returned Point Lobos after the same number of years, I remembered it all.
You'd think it would have left a bigger impression. But maybe he took me to different parts of the park back then.