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.

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Toyon

California sagebrush

California sagebrush

Two color everlasting

Cliff aster

Sawtoothed goldenbush

Rattlesnake weed

Douglas's nightshade

Leafy California buckwheat

Red stemmed filaree

Wishbone bush

A moss

California liverwort

Black cottonwood

Chaparral currant

A moss

Poison oak

Coffee fern

Telegraphweed

Southern honeysuckle

Wild cucumber

Deerweed

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Golden currant

Bush monkey flower

Mulefat

Mulefat

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