March 26-29, 2021.   Yosemite.     The Red Hills gallery (not the others) is also listed under Sierra North. That area not really in the Yosemite frontcountry.    

The Yosemite Conservancy offered a one-day Merced River Canyon wildflower hike, just west of and below the park, with three nights in the Upper Pines campground in Yosemite Valley to allow for further explorations. This was an opportunity to see the area burned in the 2018 Ferguson Fire at a what might be a good time for post-fire flowers: the third spring after. And it was an opportunity to stay in The Valley and soak up some of the ambience I missed on my one-day February visit. I've had my COVID shots. I can be out and about a bit more.

A poppy-paloosa -- a poppy lollapalooza -- is what I got ... and more. This amazing flower trip went well beyond what I expected. The hikes on Saturday (the YC hike near El Portal), Sunday (Hite Cove), and Monday (Merced River Trail at the end of the Briceburg Road) all featured spectacular hillsides of poppies plus all sorts of other things. The stops on the way up (Red Hills) and back (Hwy 49 between Mariposa and Coulterville) had plenty of poppies too, but there the others were the stars. All told I logged 15 new (to me) species, 4 new genera, and 1 new family ... on top of all those poppies. Some mighty nice scenery too.

In some ways, this was a redo of my very nice 2010 Merced Canyon Trip, with some elements of the 2012 YC Spring Celebration thrown in.
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