Hillside walk, 19 July 2013
Suddenly the number of native wildflower species in bloom has plummeted. Last week the count was 19, and this week it was only 10.
Laurel sumac, which has been in prolific bloom for several weeks, now has only a few blooms. The Stephanomeria that I saw last week with several blooms now has only withered flowers although the leaves are still green. The California coffeeberry, one of the longest blooming plants, still has some flowers, although many fewer than previously. The Acourtia at last has completely finished blooming.
One of the few flowers that continues in some profusion is American lotus, mixed in with grass along Lida Street. The dodder, which is beginning to die off, now has even more flowers than previously.
This week I took notice of and photographed a woodrat nest in the middle of a coast live oak tree, about three feet in diameter. I've seen this nest previously, but never tried to learn more about it. Mickey Long helped greatly with information that the woodrat builds nests in trees as well as on the ground. Mickey says this is the Big-eared Woodrat, formerly known as the Dusky-footed Woodrat. I continue to see numerous woodrat nests on the ground, mostly on the west hillside, but some also in the higher parts of the north hillside.