Hillside walk, 22 September 2014
Autumn has arrived and today is a nicely cool day, contrasting with the majority of the past week, which was hot, several days over 100F, accompanied by almost unbearably warm nights. Needless to say, the overall bloom on the hillside is more subdued now than it was a week ago.
Having said that, it should be emphasized that while the weekly count of about a dozen native species may look attractive numerically, mostly they are “remnant” bloom, or remnants of remnants, just a few flowers, sometimes on a single plant. The overall number of flowers on the hillside is minuscule compare to what it was during the spring.
The one large Stephanomeria plant on Lida Street is still in bloom, it's third week. Its peak has passed, but it remains attractive.
The mulefat flowers (Baccharis salicifolia) in lower Canyon 3, in the drainage just off Lida Street, continue to be just a small number of flowers on one male plant, a modest beginning to the season.
The species count this week is one lower than last week because of no flowers on the one previously flowering plant of Douglas's nightshade (Solanum douglasii) — the flowers have all been eaten.