Hillside walk, 05 February 2017

What a delight to find in full bloom the hoaryleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius var. planus). It's not present in large quantities; but I know of about four specimens on the north hillside, three or four in Canyon 5, one in Canyon 3, and about five just over the west ridge.

We also have one plant of Douglas's nightshade (Solanum douglasii) in flower on the west hillside, not far from upper Lida Street. This species has not flowered for some months. It's more a weather follower than an annual seasonal bloomer.

We also now have the fuchsia-flowered gooseberry (Ribes speciosum) more widespread in flower, in particular in Canyons 3, 5, and 7, instead of just the one plant at the bottom of the north hillside. But it's not blooming prolifically.

Golden currant (Ribes aureum var. gracillimum) is now beginning to bloom more prolifically instaed of just one or two flowers.

The wild cucumber (Marah macrocarpa) is in the peak of its bloom. The female flowers, which appear at the bottom of a raceme of flowers, are beginning to develop fruit, although these fruit are still tiny.

Thus spring is definitely in the air. The past week has seen temperatures rise up to the mid to upper 70s (F), but this hasn't been sufficient to bring out flowers such as the Mirabilis. which remains in heavy bud. On the other hand, the ground remains wet, having received 8 mm of rain two days ago. This week's hillside walk was on Sunday afternoon because Monday is forecast as 100% rain, with the prospects of another inch.

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

Hoaryleaf ceanothus

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