Hillside walk, 22 December 2014
Another 31 mm or rain fell since last week's walk, with resulting additional erosion evident, especially along use tracks on the hillsides. The ground is wet everywhere.
The army of tiny seedlings covering the ground is becoming larger. It remains difficult to tell what they are, although no doubt many are mustard or filarees or other “weeds”. But some nice natives will be there, too.
Particularly noticeable is that the California sagebrush (Atermisia californica) is now even more evidently in bloom than previously. During the later summer/early autumn, when the buds were developing, I mentioned in one of these reports that many of these plants, including their buds, looked dead. That now appears to have been incorrect. These weedy looking plants may not be spectacular scenically, but at present they are loaded with blossom, although in some areas the flowers have yet to open or have finished. The flowers are tiny, requiring a magnifying glass or a macro lens to appreciate them fully.
The liverwort (Aterella californica) is now growing additional leaves. It looks more massive in area than previously. Canyon 6 has the largest area covered by liverwort. However, so far no reproductive umbrellas.
The sole specimen of lemonade berry (Rhus integrifolia), on the gentle slope above Canyon 4, is in full bloom. This is so nice to see because in the dry of last year it did not bloom at all. Last year it had just a few buds, which were eaten by the deer.