Hillside walk, 23 February 2015
It's raining! We had 19 mm overnight. While the morning was free of rain, this week's walk ended in the early afternoon when it was again raining, including hail and a few rolls of thunder. By the time it was all over, we had a total of 24.4 mm (0.96 inch) from this storm. That should go a long was in prolonging the spring bloom.
Needless to say, today many of the hillside flowers were drooping from the weight of raindrops. Even so, the species count continues to increase. New for the season were two species of lupine, these being stinging lupine (Lupinus hirsutissimus) and miniature lupine (Lupinus bicolor), also the southern honeysuckle (Lonicera subspicata var. denudata).
A surprise was a single flower of hoaryleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius var. planus) on a shrub that otherwise completed it flowering a couple of weeks ago.
It's lovely to see the blue dicks, or schoolbells, whatever they are now called (Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum), blooming prolifically at the bottom of the north hillside although all bent over from the rain.
In Canyon 3B the bitter cress (Cardamine oligosperma) is blooming once again, as it did two years ago. It didn't bloom last year. Leaves are also apparent in Canyon 5, although no flowers yet. Some leaves of miner's lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata ssp. mexicana) are present in Canyon 5.