I went birdwatching early this morning with the San Diego Beginning Birders. We headed out to Tecolote Canyon Natural Park, a place that I had never explored before even though it’s right across the freeway from SeaWorld San Diego:
Although I saw a lot of interesting birds, including an American kestrel, I didn’t really get any good pictures. My 250mm lens is great for the birds at my bird feeders but still too short for out-in-the-wild birdwatching. Christmas….
However, I was more intrigued by a plant that I found near the visitor center:
That’s a California tree poppy (Romneya coulteri), also known as a Matilija poppy and a fried egg plant. It is native to southern California and northern Mexico.
It has the largest flowers of any species native to California, with flowers usually about eight inches in diameter but capable of getting up to twelve inches in diameter.
It was nominated in 1890 for California state flower but lost to the California poppy. I would have voted for the tree poppy.
Here are some more pictures.
One thing I discovered about this plant is that you have to be very careful around it: