Hillside walk, 18 January 2014
Notable this week is the strigose lotus (Acmispon strigosus), the first blooms this of this species for the season. But there were just two flowers, each on a separate plant about 3 feet apart. They were not far from where strigose lotus was abundant last year, except that the latter area is this year dry and barren, not even any popcorn flower yet. An important aspect of seeing this flower is that last year I didn't see it until February 16. While that is roughly a week later, one must also realize that observations take place only once each week.
Another first for the season is the California peony (Paeonia californica). Just one flower is on a plant that has a number of buds. This plant is the only one come up this year. All others remain dormant..
This week went into Canyon 6 to see the cottonwood trees (Populus trichocarpa), and to find a generally reasonable way to get to them, which I did. The cottonwoods still have a considerable amount of leaves, all yellow, and a lovely layer of yellow leaves on the ground under the trees.