Hillside walk, 04 June 2014
It was a very warm day. The California primrose (Elobus californicus) had opened early in the morning, but was almost closed when I saw it. And no four-o'clock (Mirabilus laevis var. crassifolia) flowers were to be seen anywhere. The California bluebells (Phacelia minor), so prominent several weeks ago, are no in just a few places, and the flowers are small.
But today was a day of major discovery. On the low, dry, grassy ridge between Canyons 3 and 4 were two Plummer's mariposa lilies (Calochortus plummerae). They were about six feet apart, and about ten feet from the sole lemonade berry (Rhus integrifolia) that I know of on these hillsides. Mickey Long tells me that this find is significant because the closeness of the lemonade berry and the mariposa lily indicates an intact piece of coastal sage scrub.
Today makes the start of flowering for sacapellote (Acourtia microcephala), a sure sign that we are entering into summer. The other early summer bloom, sapphire woolly star (Eriastrum sapphirinum), is in two different places on the north hillside, with good flowers, — amazing how it blooms when the ground is so dry, i.e. when the spring is decidedly finished. An noticeable this week is that the laurel sumac (Malosma laurina) is now in full bloom. Early summer is here!