Hillside walk, 12 November 2014
Widely noticeable across the hillsides this week is the California sage (Artemisia californica). Buds have been developing for a long time. Suddenly they are in most places swollen, looking like they a blooming. In most instances they are still in bud, or about to flower. I did find flowers in a couple of places. Shortly the great mass of buds will hopefully be in bloom.
The new season is beginning to move, albeit modestly. Green grass is appearing in gullies and on some of the north facing slopes, presumably a result of the rain 11 days ago. The first green leaves of four o'clock (Mirabilis laevis var. carssifolia) are appearing. On the north hillside, rattlesnake weed (Chamaesyce sp.), is in many instances now sitting up more erect and with fresh, new flowers. The mulefat (Baccharis salicifolia) has had a few blooms on one male plant for several weeks; but now blooms are beginning to appear on many plants, both male and female, in the lower Canyon 3. Even the dodder (Cuscuta sp.) has better looking flowers than recently.
We continue to have a share of remnant flowers, including a single flower on the saw toothed goldenbush (Hazardia squarrosa), and a new, small group of flowers on the toyon (Hetermeles arbutifolia).
Holly leaf redberry (Rhamnus ilicifolia) has had fruit ever since the flowering in April. This is the first week that I've not seen any fruit on one of the plants in Canyon 5. At last they are all gone.
Alas, the liverwort (Asterella californica) that was green last week following the rain has once again withdrawn into its dessicated state. However, the two ferns, coffee fern (Pallaea andromedifolia) and goldenback fern (Pentagramma triangularis) are still nicely green, the latter with small, new growth in secluded locations.