Hillside walk, 21 April 2015

The various grasses on the hillsides, including the wild oats, have almost all died with the advance of the season. In many instances they have fallen over on the ground or been trodden down. The tall green grass that's been so prominent for a couple of months is no more. Animal use trails, largely caused by local mule deer, are now much more obvious. On today's walk, the only place that had tall green grass was the damp bottom of lower Canyon 2, which is behind the berm adjacent to Lida Street.

This week's tally of flowering native plants is slightly higher than last week, notably a result of newly flowering clustered tarplant (Deinandra fasciculata) and mea prickly pear (Opuntia x vaseyi).

In Canyon 8B, the big phacelia plant I've been watching for a couple of months, which I suspect is common phacelia (Phacelia distans), is at last developing buds. Some of the stems have been nibbled by deer, so hopefully there will be flowers before the deer eat them all.

The liverworts (Asterella californica) in Canyon 5 are now completely finished in that all greenness has gone. Plenty of dried receptacles are present, and yellow spores are spread around under them. The thalli have all dried up. Until the next rain, that is.

The bush monkeyflower (Diplacus longiflorus) is at its prime, as is the southern honeysuckle (Lonicera subspicata var. denudata).

The common muilla (Muilla maritima) in bloom last week on the west ridge is now withered. However, two specimens of this species were in bloom on the north hillside. This in interesting because one of those plants has already bloomed, back in February.

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