This stuff is all over Mt. D, but it's a real charmer if you look close enough.
Was hoping for more sharpness / DoF, but I was holding the rock with my knee.
Robber flies kick a whole lot of ass. Apparently many of those asses belong to wasps. LOTS of robbers out along scrubbier parts of the trail, most of them with hymenopteran prey. I think the fly was about 1 cm and some change.
Update: ID provided by Dr. Eric Fisher on BugGuide: http://bugguide.net/node/view/380520.
Thought these were coralroot buds at first, but I could have been wrong...
Note that this empidid is holding prey! Apparently empidids hunt, and even present their catch as nuptial gifts in their mating rituals.
Neoneides muticus, maybe?
Ok, the fish and the flower have little in common, but as we meandered among the rocks and moss along the stream, I imagined it a piscean ladder, and thoughts of salmon bring Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) to mind.
Even if the Eagle Peak trail wasn't a gloriously desolate path through talus and scrub, with wonderful views, Streptanthus hispidus would be more than enough reason to walk it. This might be the most colorful one I've seen! Also saw many more in bud than blooming, so they haven't quite peaked yet.
Pretty sure this is Gilia clivorum. Small but exquisite, like so many of my favorite things.
Yup, jumpin' on the Calypso bandwagon. They were blooming explosively on Mt. Tam right now, along with lots of other cool stuff.
I think I've seen this before but never took the time to ID it. Thought it was some kind of mint when I was in the field.
Many thanks to the little girl and her family that found these beetles. Following kids around is a pretty good way to find cool bugs.
Observed in Mount Diablo State Park in a grassy meadow. About 1 cm long.
Saw this on the list at the visitor's center and was surprised. But there it was on the trail, blooming in abundance. Awesome flower.
Adela trigrapha. There were little patches where these things were just everywhere. Their antennae are preposterous.
Only marginally confident in this ID, would definitely appreciate some confirmation, or other ideas.
I have difficulty believing this is a fern, but it is. Amazing.
One of those odd creatures where the female is more colorful than the male.
Linanthus parviflorus? Not super psyched about the Linanthus key in Beidleman and Kozloff. Observed on Mount Diablo, Contra Costa County, CA, USA. See comments for scale.
White variant of this normally blue flower.
Haven't tried ID'ing it yet, though the elevated eye turret looks intriguing. Very small, cephalothorax probably 1-2 mm. Fond under a log in grassland bordeirng a eucalyptus grove.
Some kind of popcorn flower, probably Plagiobothrys, still need to key it out.