Hillside walk, 02 February 2015
It does appear that annual flowering on the hillside is at the mercy of rainfall, resulting in significantly different flowering patterns each year. With good rains in December, the season looks much better than last year although signs of drying our are now appearing. However, it's as if the high point of spring has begun, especially as this week we have California suncups (Camissoniopsis bistorta) blooming freely, not just at the bottom of the north hillside, where it is in a good density, but also scattered all the way up the ridge of the north hillside as far as the beginning of the upper slope. Last year (2014) these did not appear until the beginning of April. In the previous year (2013) it was the end of February.
This week California four o'clock (Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia) is in widespread bloom across the north hillside although still just beginning its season. Wild cucumber (Marah macrocarpa) continues at its peak, as does golden currant (Ribes aureum var. gracillimum).
The very first popcorn flowers (Cryptantha sp.) are appearing, just a few of them on the north hillside. Just a few blue elderberry (Sambucus nigra subsp. caerulea) are in bloom, as has been the case for the past couple of weeks.
Hoary leaf ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius var. planus) continues its widespread blooming although flowers are waning on a few of these trees.
Liverworts (Asterella californica) continue the growth of their receptacles.