Hillside walk, 13 April 2014

Even more green growth this week, and it's hard not to tread on the flowers! In places my track up the lower, steep part of the north hillside was obliterated by greenery, especially four o'clock (Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia) and California bluebells (Phacelia minor).

It's exactly six weeks since the big rain at the beginning of March, which is a reminder of our trip to Chile in 2005, when we saw part of the Atacama Desert (a 1-inch rainfall area) in bloom south of Copiapo, six weeks after rain.

The north hillside generally is the major spectacle this week. I'm sure the number of strigose lotus (Acmispon strigosus) is no fewer than last week, but they are now often hidden by other plants. We even have a yucca (Hesperoyucca whipplei) in bloom this week.

This week I saw two plants for which last year I saw fruit only, and now they both have flowers: spiny redberry (Rhamnus crocea) on the north hillside, and holly leaf redberry (Rhamnus ilicifolia) in Canyon 5. Their flowers are tiny, a dull green color, and generally insignificant; no wonder I didn't see them last year.

This week a new species is added to the list: whispering bells (Emmenanthe peduliflora var. peduliflora), located not far west of our house. I don't believe it bloomed last year although last year I saw the dried husks of earlier flowers (and could not identify them), perhaps the formation that in the wind generates the quiet sound that gives them the name of whispering bells.

This week's species count of 38 exceeds last year's peak of 35. Last year did not produce the the maze of plant growth that we have right now.

Wild hyacinth

Black sage

Wishbone bush

Dodder

Unidentified

California sun cup

California sun cup

California sun cup

California sun cup

California sun cup

California plantain

California plantain

California plantain

California plantain

Blue elderberry

Coast live oak

Western sycamore

California bluebells

California bluebells

California bluebells

California bluebells

White sage

Wishbone bush

Strigose lotus

California coffeeberry

California coffeeberry

California coffeeberry

Popcorn flower

Popcorn flower

Popcorn flower

Two color everlasting

Rattlesnake weed

Spiny redberry

Spiny redberry

Spiny redberry

Spiny redberry

Spiny redberry

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

Mission prickly-pear

Wishbone bush

Wild cucumber

Narrow-leaf milkweed

Scrub oak

Telegraphweed

Chamise

Chaparral yucca

Chaparral yucca

Coast live oak

Holly leaf redberry

Holly leaf redberry

Holly leaf redberry

Holly leaf redberry

Black sage

Gopher snake

Gopher snake

A moss

California liverwort

California liverwort

Scrub oak

Goldenback fern

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Western nettle

Western nettle

Common eucrypta

Popcorn flower

Scrub oak

Scrub oak

Poison oak

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Coffee fern

Death camas

Poison oak

Poison oak

Holly leaf cherry

Narrow leaved bedstraw

Douglas's nightshade

Blue elderberry

Dodder

Wild cucumber

Deerweed

Deerweed

Leafy California buckwheat

Leafy California buckwheat

Cliff aster

Italian thistle

Bush monkey flower

Mulefat

Mulefat

Cobweb thistle

Caterpillar phacelia

Caterpillar phacelia

Whispering bells

Whispering bells

 

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