Dear Members, Donors and Friends,

Those among us who have walked the trails for years (and decades!) say that they have never seen so many blue dicks, lupines, snapdragons, popcorn flowers, and sun cups. While there have been other magnificent blooms before, it is the unexpected locations of these gems that surprise many of the long-time Reserve visitors.

Enjoy the sight of this year’s beautiful wildflowers along the trails of the Reserve!

-Your Torrey Pines Conservancy

What's Blooming!Uncommon Plants along the TrailsArticles and photos by Donna Close

April gave us the super bloom we have all been waiting for: sea dahlias, poppies and goldfields covering hillsides, lupines growing all over, large patches of blue dicks, which keep on sprouting. The plants and wildflowers are taking advantage of the sunshine and still cooler than average temperatures. As we make our way into May, here are the latest plants to look for on the trails.

Southern Pink, Cardinal Catchfly (Silene laciniata ssp. laciniata)
This tall slender perennial herb has red tubular flowers, with five fringed petals occurring at branch ends. The “pink” refers to the ragged looking edges that look like someone took pinking shears to them. The name “catchfly” refers to the sticky substance that can trap small insects, leaving the cross pollination to bees and butterflies. There are quite a few that pop up along the east side of the Guy Fleming Trail, along the lower Park Road and at Razor Point. Flowering time May to July.

Fleabane Aster, Leafy Daisy (Erigeron foliosus var. foliosus)
This member of the sunflower family has a cluster of light purple flower heads (60 petals) with a golden disk center, on top of its delicate leafy stem. It is most abundant on the east side of Guy Fleming, where there is a grouping of them in between the flat-top buckwheat just past the Lions Paw area and on the east side of the trail. Blooming time is typically May to August.

Turkish Rugging (Chorizanthe staticoides)
This annual herb is a member of the buckwheat family. It has spatula-shaped leaves at the beginning of its growth that disappear when the flowers sprout. It grows in patches on exposed, dry sandstone outcrops and is endemic to California. It has been many years since it has made an appearance at Torrey Pines, but this year it can be found growing on South Broken Hill Trail near the end of the ADA section. It will be hard to miss when it is in full bloom! Flowering time is April to May.

Everlasting Nest Straw (Stylocline gnaphaloides)
This tiny annual plant can be found along most sunny sections of trails. Depending on its location, it will differ in look, with some clumping and others spread out. It has gray-green leaves with white hairs. It resembles other related everlastings, except in size. You may want a magnifying glass to fully appreciate the tiny flower heads. Blooming time is April to June.

Canchalagua (Zeltnera venusta)
This small annual plant is native to California. It has a bright magenta flower with a white throat and is hard to miss. It prefers clay or rocky soil that has retained a little extra water. With the lack of rain over the last couple of years, it has made only a small showing. This year with the recent rains, there should be a wonderful display. In prior years, it could be found along the South Broken Hill Trail close to the Overlook Trail, along the upper Park Road, behind the TIK, and on the Razor Point Trail. Flowering time is May to August.

Lodge History 5:Two Beams or Not Two Beams

by Judy Schuman, TPDS Historian
This is the fifth in a series of articles by Judy Schulman about Torrey Pines Lodge, whose 100th anniversary we celebrated on April 8, 2023.
When I was a docent in training, I was told that the two dark brown heavy beams in the Visitor Center came from the old Natural History Museum when it burned down. There are a few little problems with that. There are no scorch marks on the beams, and the Natural History Museum didn’t burn down until two years after the Lodge was built.*  Several sources suggest that the Guy Fleming residence, built in 1927, used these beams. So where exactly did those beams in the Visitor Center come from? Next time you are at the Lodge, take a look at them. You will notice that there are barnacles and barnacle borings on them. Although the exact answer to their origins isn’t known, there are two theories. One is that they came from removed pier pilings. The other is that they came from
the north from what is referred to as Benton Rafts. These were big rafts that were made up of thousands of logs lashed together […]. These rafts were floated in the ocean from Oregon to San Diego. For more information, please see below. The Lodge plans by architects Requa and Jackson only mentioned the following about the ceiling beams: “The two main beams in the lounge to be 12” diameter logs, with bark removed, extending through the walls, with pointed hewn ends and given two coats of Cabot’s Creosote Stain #342 before being placed.”

* The book Inspired by Nature: The San Diego Natural History Museum After 125 Years doesn’t mention a fire in any of the five locations where the museum has existed (one downtown and four in Balboa Park). I am currently researching where the fire may have been. There was a fire in 1925 in the Civic Auditorium (formerly known as the Southern California Counties Building during the 1915 Expo). This would later become the current site of the Natural History Museum, which was built in 1932-33.

More Information about the Log Rafts

TPC Bird Hike

On a recent Saturday in April, a group of avid hikers set out to explore the early morning birds near Torrey Pines at Sorrento Valley Ponds. On their 1.36 mile hike, they discovered 34 different species. Many of them are climate threatened or endangered.

Here’s the list from eBird:

6 Mallard
1 Red-breasted Merganser
1 Eurasian Collared-Dove
4 Mourning Dove
6 White-throated Swift
3 Anna’s Hummingbird
2 Allen’s Hummingbird
1 American Coot
3 Killdeer
1 Great Blue Heron
4 Great Egret
3 Snowy Egret
1 Red-tailed Hawk
1 American Kestrel
1 Black Phoebe
2 American Crow
2 Common Raven
15 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
5 Bushtit
5 Wrentit
2 Marsh Wren
1 Western Bluebird
4 House Finch
1 Lesser Goldfinch
20 Song Sparrow
1 California Towhee
5 Spotted Towhee
2 Yellow-breasted Chat
2 Hooded Oriole
10 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Orange-crowned Warbler
9 Common Yellowthroat
4 Yellow Warbler
2 Black-headed Grosbeak

Number of Taxa: 34

by Robert Horstmann