|Blue oak leaf life: What is accompanying the lady bug?|
A California State Parks panel in the interpretive botanical garden says:
The diversity of California's native plant life, about 6,000 species, is unequaled by any other state. This results from the state's varied climate, soils, and geology. Nearly one-quarter of these plants live naturally only in California.
In addition to the insect-populated blue oak (Quercus douglasii) leaves shown in the top picture, here are some more snapshots of flowering plants, which I saw in the garden during my visit in May of this year.
Bush Monkey Flower (Mimulus aurantiacus), lopseed family.
Narrowleaf Goldenbush (Ericameria linearifolia), sunflower family.
Blue Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), muskroot family.
Black Sage (Salvia mellifera), mint family.
Wavy-Leaf Silk Tassel (Garrya elliptica), Garryaceae.
Getting to the visitor center and botanical gardenThe address of the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center in Contra Costa County is: 96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton, CA 94517 (phone: 925 - 837-2525).
From the intersection of Ygnacio Valley Road and Clayton Road, go southeast on Clayton Road for a little less than a mile and turn right on Mitchell Canyon Road. The interpretive center is located at the south end of that road. There is limited parking on the right side of the road before passing the gate and more parking space in the park's fee area.
More to explore Mamma Quail: Mitchell Canyon, Revisited. December 7, 2015 [mammaquail.blogspot.com/2015/12/mitchell-canyon-revisited.html].
 Mount Diablo Interpretive Association: Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center [www.mdia.org/site/park-information/park-info/mitchell-canyon-visitor-center].