Hillside walk, 04 February 2014

Despite being subdued, the spring growth and flowers continue to expand. Four o'clock (Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia) has more green growth than last week, and a good number of flowers. The first poison oak flowers (Toxicodendron diversilobum) have appeared. The north hillside now has so many filarees (Erodium cicutarium), many of which are flowering. And the ubiquitous mustard now has many more blooms although not the carpet of last year.

Once again I saw strigose lotus (Acmispon strigosus), just two plants each with one flower, and once again they were in the middle of a well used animal track.

Of course, the species count doesn't indicate the quantity of flowers. For the most part, the numbers are way below last year. A good example is the hoaryleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius var. planus), for which the only flowers I've seen are on a small number of trees on a protected, north-facing slope in Canyon 5. The trees that grow in more open places have not bloomed at all. In all previous years the ceanothus has in January been a highly noticeable feature of the hillside. This year those open places have nothing to show.

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Rattlesnake weed

Dodder

Strigose lotus

Strigose lotus

Strigose lotus

Red stemmed filaree

Red stemmed filaree

Leafy California buckwheat

Two color everlasting

Mule deer

Wishbone bush

Rattlesnake weed

Sow thistle

Telegraphweed

Telegraphweed

Russian thistle

Red tailed hawk

Wishbone bush

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

A moss

Black sage

A moss

California liverwort

Goldenback fern

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Chaparral currant

Chaparral currant

California peony

California peony

California peony

Lemonade berry

Sacapellote

Wishbone bush

California liverwort

California liverwort

Coffee fern

Poison oak

Poison oak

Leafy California buckwheat

Douglas's nightshade

Douglas's nightshade

Wild cucumber

Golden currant

Golden currant

Golden currant

Mulefat

Mulefat

     

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