Hillside walk, 18 January 2016
Results of last week's rain are showing in terms of new grass everywhere, no more than a few inches long, but it's everywhere.
A small increase in the number of blooming species is indicative of the evolving spring season. Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry (Ribes speciosum) has begun flowering, a great sign of early spring, as is wild cucumber (Mahrah macrocarpa), which began flowering a couple of weeks ago. In the past week or so, we've seen the completion of flowering for the dodder (Cuscuta sp.) and the California brickellbush (Brickellia californica).
Despite the dampness, evidence of drought continues. For example, one of the two coffeeberry trees (Frangula californica) on the north hillside, which died some months ago, is looking like it is disintegrating. And the magnificent hoaryleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius var. planus) on the broad ridge between Canyons 3 and 4 has an increasing amount of dead foliage and branches. Hopefully it will survive.