Hillside walk, 13 August 2016

There isn't much to write about this week. The species count remains low. The turkey vultures fly overhead, sometimes circling around, hoping that I may be a meal, — no such luck for them; fortunately they don't eat anything that is alive.

I continue to be struck by the number of plants that have either died, are dying, or have parts that are dead. This observation is in contrast to previous years. This year the amount of dead material is more noticeable. I'm even wondering whether the saw toothed goldenbush (Hazardia squarrosa) on the north hillside will bloom — it's due any time now. While it has a reasonable number of buds, the number of dead branches is noticeably greater each week, and some of the plants have more foliage dead than alive.

I am concerned about the large hoaryleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius var. planus) on the low divide between Canyons 3 and 4. In previous years it has been a magnificent blooming specimen in the January-February time frame; but now much of it is dead. A large example of the same species on the north hillside is completely dead as of a year so, and hopefully the few remaining specimens will survive.

Laurel sumac

Leafy California buckwheat

Dodder

Telegraphweed

Cliff aster

Above Canyon 6

California liverwort

Black cottonwood

Turkey vulture

Toyon

   

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