However, we did find something extraordinary...spring wildflowers in October - Lupine and Phacelia, an incredible number of Lupine, Apricot and Lavender mallow, Indian paint brush, and 3 unknown (to us) types of yellow flowers...
|Lavender Mallow - Marble Canyon, Inyo Mountains|
|Apricot Mallow - Wacoba/Saline Road|
The spring-like day was complete with orange butterflies flittering between the flowers. There were heavy thundershowers in late summer this year which might account for the second bloom; those rains definitely accounted for taking some of the roads out.
We drove around a “Road Closed Ahead” sign off of Westguard Pass road, then past a more insistent “Road Closed” sign, but only after we temporarily removed an orange cone. I’ve never seen this road so badly impacted by thunderstorms.
The day ended up on a ridge where very old fossil are exposed. These trace fossils are around ½ a billion years old, mostly worms. Exquisite ripples from moving water are on display as well. I believe this from the Ediacaran Period just before the Cambrian explosion, a so-called mini explosion. The Ediacaran Period's status as an official geological period was ratified in 2004 by the International Union of Geological Sciences, making it the first new geological period declared in 120 years. We accidently found this area a few years ago. It was not apparent at first they were fossils because geologic possesses can be deceiving; but the accumulation of evidence was convincing. Later we researched the area and confirmed they were indeed very old fossils.