A range of extraordinary colors are hidden among the mounded shrubs of the federal preserve of endangered Coastal Sage Scrub and Marine Chaparral at the southernmost tip of California.

From a distance they’re unassuming masses of drab brown and gray-green; the distinct variations of vibrant color are only visible when you hike directly into the vegetation, and immerse yourself in it. Few visitors do; most are drawn to the grand vistas and other attractions in the Park.

Surviving only on fog drip in an otherwise arid coastal desert, these plants fill the ocher sandstone valleys and ravines that drape in geological pleats and folds from the plateaued peninsula down to the ocean.

Image credit: Peg Callihan & Bernie Pobiak