Hillside walk, 25 January 2016
This morning's walk started out relatively early, 9 a.m., with a crisp coolness in the air. On the way up the north hillside I was struck by the number of bees close to the ground. They were working the rattlesnake weed (Chamaesyce sp.) and the filarees (Erodium sp.), both of which offer plenty of fresh blossom.
It's gratifying to see the new season progressing. This week's big seasonal addition to the list of flowering plants is lemonade berry (Rhus integrifolia), which is always such a delight despite the short flowering season. Another plant with a relative short flowering season is wild cucumber (Mahrah macrocarpa), which is coming into full bloom in many places.
I'm amazed to find once again some isolated flowers of California sagebrush (Artemisia californica), on plants that have their winter foliage.
Everywhere on the hillsides is grass. In the protected areas it's thick, but in most places it's new growth a couple of inches long. That should help hold the ground together when the big rains arrive.