Hillside walk, 27 April 2014

Again we have plenty of flowers, similar to the past few weeks. More noticeable now is that the mustards are really tall and dominating the landscape.

The middle area of the north hillside this week has many large caterpillars, 2.5 to 3 inches long. I saw dozens of them. Some were eating plants, in particular the four-o'clock (Miarabilis laevis var. carssifolia) and the filaree (Erodim sp.); but the majority of them were hurrying across the ground, presumably in search of their next dinner. Terry Keller identifies them as the white-lined sphinx moth, a relative of the tomato hornworm.

I now have a puzzle to resolve regarding Rhamnus. Spiny redberry (Rhamnus crocea) has tiny flowers, smaller leaves, and stiffer branches. What I believe is holly leaf redberry (Rhamnus ilicifolia) has larger flowers and leaves, and branches not so stiff. More significantly, the latter appears to have some flowers with five petals, whereas the Jepson Manual says it has only four, no mention of five. Then again, maybe they are also all the one species of Rhamnus; I'll watch the development of the fruit to ascertain this in greater detail. At present I believe they are separate. Also, in the middle of the north hillside are specimens of each species, and not far apart.

Wild hyacinth

Dodder

California sun cup

California sun cup

Golden stars

Golden stars

California plantain

Black sage

Morning glory

Wild cucumber

Dodder

Western sycamore

Coast live oak

California bluebells

California bluebells

White sage

California bluebells

California bluebells

Wishbone bush

White-lined sphinx moth caterpillar

Popcorn flower

California coffeeberry

California coffeeberry

Rattlesnake weed

Strigose lotus

California bluebells

Strigose lotus

Holly leaf redberry

Spiny redberry

Rattlesnake weed

Leafy California buckwheat

Common eucrypta

Common eucrypta

Wishbone bush

Scrub oak

Black sage

Chaparral yucca

Chaparral yucca

Telegraphweed

Southern honeysuckle

Common horehound

Golden stars

California everlasting

Deerweed

Bush monkey flower

Black sage

Black sage

California liverwort

California liverwort

Scrub oak

Goldenback fern

Western nettle

Western nettle

Chaparral currant

Bush monkey flower

Blue elderberry

California everlasting

Popcorn flower

California peony

Lemonade berry

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Wishbone bush

Wishbone bush

Wild cucumber

Common eucrypta

Poison oak

Narrow leaved bedstraw

Narrow leaved bedstraw

Douglas's nightshade

Blue elderberry

Deerweed

Leafy California buckwheat

Mission prickly-pear

Mulefat

Mulefat

Cliff aster

Golden currant

Cobweb thistle

Mulefat

Mulefat

Bush monkey flower

Morning glory

Wishbone bush

Whispering bells

Whispering bells

Whispering bells

Caterpillar phacelia

Caterpillar phacelia

Caterpillar phacelia

   

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