Another bright yellow flower to be seen ubiquitously in the high places of Guadarrama during Summer is Doronicum carpetanum. It should not be confused with the more common Ragwort (Senecio, Hierba de Santiago, Hierba Cana) to which it bears some resemblance. While the Ragwort can also be found at altitude, it is much more widespread lower down; Doronicum is exclusively a high altitude plant, found up to 2425m in Guadarrama – yes, close to the summit rocks of Peñalara. Proof that it is not common below 2000m is that it does not have a common name either in Spanish or in English – it is only known as Doronicum carpetanum.
Whereas it’s normal to come upon Doronicum close to Guadarrama’s summits in August, it’s not so typical to find snow..certainly not towards the end of August. The remaining snowfields are ever smaller, some of them are about to disappear, but one or two might just make it to September.
The Dos Hermanas snowfield – “field” sounds a bit exaggerated now – went from over 3000 square meters on July 23 to around 1700-1800 on August 05 to little more than 100-150 square meters in these days. The neveros above the Laguna are also going quickly, and below the summit of Peñalara and the Peñalara-Claveles area the snow has, perhaps surprisingly, disappeared completely. There is one slightly more extensive nevero between Laguna de los Pájaros and Puerto de los Neveros. The one that might make it to September?
SEPTEMBER 05 UPDATE: The snows of 2013 have made it to September! At least three small neveros are still visible above the Laguna de Peñalara. One of them, above the Pared Negra, covers something like 100-200 square meters; the other two are absolutely minimal and will likely disappear shortly.