Hillside walk, 19 November 2014
After months of developing buds, the California sagebrush (Artemisia californica) is at last in bloom across all parts of the hillside. In places the flowers are so heavy that the little branches of the plants are bending over.
Nothing else is in such profuse bloom. In Lower Canyon 3, the mulefat (Baccharis salicifolia) continues to have just a few flowers, both male and female, in greater numbers now, but certainly not yet in heavy bloom. Rattlesnake weed (Chamaesyce sp.) continues to look nice on the north hillside, but is really just waiting for the winter rain, like everything else.
It's almost three weeks since that first rain of the winter, just 13 mm of it, and although green grass continues to appear in protected canyons, the ferns are almost back to their dormant state: Goldenback fern (Pentagramma trianularis) is again completely dried out. Coffee fern (Pellaea andromedifolia) still has some green leaves, but much of it is again dessicated.