Hillside walk, 29 December 2014
It's now nearly two weeks since we had rain. The ground in exposed places, such as the north hillside, is becoming hard again, dry at least on the sruface. What was an army of tiny shapeless seedlings in many places is already becoming a host of small identifiable plants; mustard and filarees are clearly recognizable in many places on the north hillside. But no apparent flowers yet that arise specifically from the recent rain.
The early season spring flowers are beginning. (I'm assuming that mulefat does not quality as one of them.) In particular, we have the first few blooms on golden currant (Ribes aureum var. gracillimum), in the lower Canyon 2. And truly notable is one plant of chaparral yucca (Hesperoyucca whipplei) in full bloom on the south-facing slope of the upper part of Canyon 5 — it seems completely out of season, several months early.
This was the first week since the start of the calendar year that no dodder (Cuscuta sp.) was visible anywhere.
The liverwort, virtually all Asterella californica, in Canyons 2, 5, and 6 continues to grow profusely. One patch of female liverworts in Canyon 5 looks like it may be reproducing although it's too early to tell confidently. I'll be watching these plants carefully and eagerly.