Hillside walk, 04 July 2016

Summer sadness or summer siesta? I prefer to think of the latter, with so many plants now hunkered down waiting for the eventual winter rains. This week no plant is truly in the full-flowering state. Perhaps the laurel sumac (Malosma laurina) comes very close to it although it has now passed its peak. Similarly the leafy California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum subsp. foliolosum) has its usual large crop of flowers that will endure through much of the summer; but even it is slightly beyond the spring peak.

This week saw no bush monkeyflower in bloom (Diplacus longiflorus). It's the first occasion of no bloom since mid March last year (2015) apart from two weeks in October 2015. Maybe it will bloom again this year; we'll see. But this last year is the first time I've seen it blooming for a full twelve month period, albeit just remnant blooms at times.

Some of the species on this week's list are represented by a very small number of flowers. For example: Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) is represented by just one of two individual flowers on a plant at the bottom of the north hillside. Specimens of deerweed (Acmispon glaber var. glaber) are widespread on the hillsides, but just one plant on Lida Street had a handful of yellow flowers. The large plot of mesa prickly pear (Opuntia x vaseyi) in the Lida Street horseshoe bend has just one small flower. The clustered tarplant (Deinandra fasciculata) at the bottom of the north hillside is now gone to seed except for three or flowers on a single plant.

The branching phacelia (Phacelia ramosissima) in Canyon 8 is now largely died away, as it does at the end of the season. However, it's a joy to see that the small amount of greenery continues to have flowers, and some of the best (least weathered) that I've seen on it.

Laurel sumac

Clustered tarweed

Branching phacelia

Branching phacelia

Branching phacelia

Coyote footprint

Leafy California buckwheat

Sacapellote

Leafy California buckwheat

Leafy California buckwheat

Mesa prickly pear

Birch leaf mountain mahogany

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