Hillside walk, 06 April 2014

This week we have even more green growth, and a larger variety of flowers.

This week I found a different full-blooming specimen of hoaryleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius var. planus), this one in the middle of the north hillside. Those specimens that bloomed in January, albeit briefly, have not bloomed again following the rain.

The four o'clock (Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia) is truly at it's magnificent peak, especially spread over the north hillside. The lower part of the north hillside has a delightful array of California bluebells (Phacelia minor).

In the middle section of the north hillside, strigose lotus (Acmispon strigosus) is everywhere. I tried counting individual flowers, but gave up after reaching 1,000. If I'd continued, I would have counted probably an additional 500.

This week the species count jumped up from 27 to 31, and is now the same as it was at this time last year. Note, however, that last year the highest count of the year, 35, was reached a few weeks earlier.

Of course, the species count doesn't tell the full story because it doesn't account for the quantity of each species. For example, last year parts of Canyon 5 were covered in masses of western nettle (Hesperocnide tenella), and this year, which is much drier overall, we have just a couple of clumps, each the size of a small bucket.

Another comparison is that last year the California suncup (Camissoniopsis bistorta) bloomed throughout March. This week saw the first of this species for this year, with just a single flower, which is clearly in response to the rain at the beginning of March.

In the middle of last week we received about 9 mm of rain, spread over three days. This wasn't enough to trigger a significant response from the liverworts. A minor amount of fresh green was evident in areas were the liverworts would have been directly exposed to this light rain, i.e. where the liverwors were not covered by other foliage.

Dodder

California sun cup

California sun cup

Wild hyacinth

Wild hyacinth

Western sycamore

California bluebells

Popcorn flower

California coffeeberry

Strigose lotus

Strigose lotus

Strigose lotus

Prickly pear

Popcorn flower

Telegraphweed

Chamise

Rattlesnake weed

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

Two color everlasting

Wild hyacinth

California bluebells

California bluebells

California bluebells

Pasadena

Wishbone bush

Coast live oak

California liverwort

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Black cottonwood

Black sage

A moss

California liverwort

California liverwort

Scrub oak

Goldenback fern

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Western nettle

Common eucrypta

Popcorn flower

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

Wishbone bush

California liverwort

Goldenback fern

California liverwort

Coffee fern

California liverwort

Wild hyacinth

Death camas

Death camas

Death camas

Death camas

Poison oak

North from Lida St.

Blue elderberry

Narrow leaved bedstraw

Douglas's nightshade

Blue elderberry

Deerweed

Coast live oak

Coast live oak

Coast live oak

Coast live oak

Leafy California buckwheat

Bush monkey flower

Mulefat

Mulefat

Cobweb thistle

Common eucrypta

Black sage

     

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