Hillside walk, 14 March 2016

two days ago we received 17 mm of rain in a brief storm. Last night as further 1.8 mm of light rain made sure the hillside today was about as wet as it ever gets. The green growth is immense. Mustard is everywhere on the open slopes, and this year it's large, tall mustard. While the mustard and the grass hides other flowers, those other flowers were in abundance.

This week's count of 48 native species in bloom is the highest, this being the fourth spring season of the survey. This week's observations included five big, healthy specimens of stinging lupine (Lupinus hirsutissimus) in full bloom; previously I've never found more than one in bloom, and that never in prime condition. Right now the whole hillside is in prime condition!

As would be expected, the California bluebells (Phacelia minor) on the north hillside are utterly prolific, as is wishbone bush (Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia). Other at their absolute peak include blue dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum) and California plantain (Plangato erecta). This week we have the first of the season's California primrose (Eulobus californicus), on the north hillside in considerable numbers. Small ground-hugging plants such as strigose lotus (Acmispon strigosus) are still in considerable numbers, but are often lost among the mustard, grass, and other things. The California suncup (Camissoniopsis bistorta) is in good numbers at the bottom of the north hillside, but is sprinkled well up the whole of that hillside. The open north hillside, which for so much of the year is dry and bare, is a real picture at present.

Once again, with apparently suitable rains, I'm watching the liverworts (Asteralla californica) to see whether they develop all the way to spores. This time it's the liverworts in Canyon 6.

Coast live oak

Raindrops on spider web

California sun cup

California plantain

Two color everlasting

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Wild cucumber

Western sycamore

Poison oak

Stinging lupine

Stinging lupine

Morning glory

Stinging lupine

Stinging lupine

California bluebells

California bluebells

California bluebells

California primrose

California primrose

California bluebells

Stinging lupine

California coffeeberry

Popcorn flower

Popcorn flower

Spiny redberry

Spiny redberry

Rattlesnake weed

Cobweb thistle

Two color everlasting

Common muilla

Holly leaf redberry

Holly leaf redberry

Black sage

Upper north hillside

Morning glory

Desert bush sunflower

Black sage

Morning glory

Strigose lotus

Common eucrypta

California liverwort

Holly leaf redberry

California everlasting

Leafy California buckwheat

Skunkbrush

Bitter cress

Danny's skullcap

Scrub oak

Chaparral currant

Lemonade berry

Bush monkey flower

Common fiddleneck

Common fiddleneck

Death camas

Death camas

Black sage

Telegraphweed

Holly leaf cherry

Ropevine clematis

Ropevine clematis

Ropevine clematis

Douglas's nightshade

Blue elderberry

Golden currant

Deerweed

Dodder

Coastal wood fern

Coastal wood fern

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Mulefat

Mulefat

Wild hyacinth

Miniature lupine

   

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