Hillside walk, 30 March 2014
The hillside is really looking nice, with a good quantity and variety of flowers. It's a month since the 5.75 inches of rain, and I'm wondering how long the prolific growth will continue.
Many people have remarked about how this flower season started early. That's a temperature effect. The rain effect has the opposite impact. Most dramatically, today the big tree of hoaryleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius var. planus) has flowers, no doubt a result of the rain. Seasonally, it's more than two months late! Other ceanothus in shaded parts of canyon 5 bloomed briefly in January as usual, but the quantity of flowers was small. And now we have this new bloom!
Other species have also produced flowers after the rain, even though their nominal blooming had already come and gone. Most noticeable in this respect is the four o'clock (Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia) and the wild cucumber (Marah macrocarpa).
The death camas (Toxicoscordion sp.) discovered last week on the west hillside is now in even greater bloom.
The number of strigose lotus flowers (Acmispon strigosus) continues to increase, the count this week being 568.