A constellation of yellow lilies blooms on a serpentine ridge atop Mt. Tam. The yellow mariposa lilies (Calochortus luteus) are little works of art: delicate patterns of red and orange decorate the inside of the petals. No two are alike. Some are plain, some are complex. All are lovely. Beetles seem to think so too; I’ve often seen them hanging out inside. When I saw the ones pictured here, some still held water from the previous night’s rain in their cup-shaped blossoms.
This mariposa lily is a California endemic that can be found as far north as Humboldt and as far south as LA.