Hillside walk, 13 April 2015

The past week was cooler than most weeks recently, with even 4 mm of rain early in the week. This showed up today on the north hillside as scattered flowers of four o'clock (Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia), far more of them than in the previous few weeks although certainly not a multitude.

We are now in mid spring, with the hillsides in many places looking grand with prolific flowering of bush monkeyflowers (Diplacus longiflorus) and black sage (Salvia mellifera). We even have the first golden stars (Bloomeria crocea). And there is toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) although this had small amounts of non-seasonal bloom during the winter.

The highlight today was finding three specimens of common muilla (Muilla maritima) in bloom on the west ridge. This contrasts with having seen this species in bloom on the north hillside in the first week of February.

The prettiest spot of the hillsides is under the shade of the oak trees deep in Canyon 8. There one finds a delightful coolness, and an absence of the dryness that pervades the open areas dominating most of the landscape.

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