Wildflowers have been starting to come up this month, as evidenced by two fairly recent hikes we took, the first one on April 12th, the second one on April 20th.
But first: a butterfly. This is a Painted Lady, the first butterfly (Papilionoidea) I saw this year, from our April 12th hike. Skippers (Hesperoidea) were out on some hikes prior to April 12th, but no butterflies. By April 20th, white cabbage butterflies were also flitting about.
The April 12th hike didn't show us very many types of wildflowers; this was the only one blooming, a very small mat of green leaves with yellow flowers, which we saw here and there on warm, lower slopes.
An enlargement of the tiny yellow flowers, with pine needles for scale. These flowers had all gone to seed by April 20th, and the green was starting to fade. UPDATE: These are probably Ceratocephala testiculata, see comments below.
On April 12th, paintbrush - the reddish stalks and leaves - were just starting to come up, as were some tiny, green shoots of a yellow flower, not yet in bloom next to the rock outcrop. Neither of these particular clumps were blooming on April 20th, but they had grown slightly (see next post).
Our April 20th hike revealed a few more flowers, including this mostly budding, barely blooming yellow flower - probably an Eriogonum, or buckwheat, possibly this one. UPDATE: This is more likely a Lomatium or Cymopterus, see comments below.
A closer view. These tiny plants were just starting to come out. A probable Cryptantha, or borage, possibly this one - against a limestone breccia.
The upper slopes were covered with these tiny purple and white flowers, tinged with light green. Note quarter for scale.
These are Pedicularis centranthera, or dwarf lousewort, described here. I've not really noticed these flowers before.
Down on the lower slopes, red Indian paintbrush, Castilleja, was getting fairly well into bloom, and maybe - just maybe - some lupine will be out soon.