Mountain Pride along Tioga Road
Continuing on the Big Oak Flat Road toward Yosemite Valley, a large lupine species (Lupinus sp.) is blooming now along the road throughout the Big Meadow fire scar area near Foresta. These vibrant purple flowers grow in obvious spike-like clusters that stick up like dancers above a bright green bushy stage. There are at least 26 species of lupine that grow in Yosemite, but they all have palmately compound leaves and bilaterally symmetrical flowers.
Lupine along Big Oak Flat Road
Not to be outdone, Yosemite Valley is a great setting for flowers to support the performance of the lead actors. Of course, even the waterfalls and rock walls can be upstaged from time to time. El Capitan is just the backdrop to the Western azalea (Rhododendron occidentale) blooming under the oak woodland to the west end of El Capitan Meadow. These shrubs feature fragrant clusters of large white flowers highlighted by a yellow splotch.
Western Azalea in El Capitan Meadow