Spring in the Sierra Nevada lingered longer than usual this year.
With snow still melting in mid-June, wildflower season was well underway at 7,000 feet in the Sequoia National Monument when my wife Linda and I visited. Lake Success east of Porterville was full, and the meadows near the Sierra mountain community of Ponderosa were pushing wildflowers to the sky.
Rather than pack all of the digital single-lens reflex camera gear up the mountain this year, we traveled light and took all our pictures with an iPhone. We were inspired by my aunt Karilyn Gomez, who has a show of iPhone photography at the Gold Concept in San Luis Obispo.
When we needed a wider or macro view, we used a set of clip-on lenses that could fit in a tin of mints. Pro tip: Avoid putting your hand in an ant nest while trying to get a low angle photo of wildflowers.
If you visit, there are cabin rentals and bed and breakfast options at Camp Nelson and Ponderosa as well as campsites in the Sequoia National Monument. The Upper Tule Association has a Facebook page as well.
Snowmelt-fed rivers were roaring, and caution is advised. Tule River trails were closed to hikers from above Springville to near Camp Nelson.
Sequoia National Monument, well worth visiting for hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, cross-country skiing or just enjoying the scenic views, is one of the many protected areas under review by the Trump administration.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Karilyn Gomez’s name.