Hillside walk, 20 May 2014
In the past week several days were hot, in the high 90s, and one day was 102F, but much of the spring bloom continued. Some obvious effects were that the golden stars (Bloomeria crocea) are now flowering only in the shaded area, and the coffee fern (Pellaea andromedifolia) has suddenly dried up completely, lost all it's chlorophyll.
Meanwhile, the California primrose (Eulobus californicus) on the lower north hillside has many more flowers than I saw previously, and heaps of seed, with many more plants than I was previously aware of among the mustard. Other plants in full bloom include black sage (Salvia mellifera), narrow-leaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis), chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum var. fasciculatum), sticky monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus), and chaparral yucca (Hesperoyucca whipplei) — saw about six yuccas in bloom.
Notable new seasonal flowers this week include the clustered tarplant (Deinandra fasciculata), laurel sumac (Malosma laurina), and the gorgeous sapphire woolly star (Eriastrum sapphirinum). The latter was not only in the place where I found it last year, the lower north hillside, but also on the bare, steep upper north hillside.
Overall the hillsides are becoming noticeably drier. The mustard is over its peak bloom, making the ground more visible than it was, and the walking a little easier.