Hillside walk, 30 October 2017

Last week's walk did not occur because of excessive heat. It seemed dangerous to be on the hillside when the fire danger was so high. In contrast, today is truly cool — the high for the day was only 64F. Furthermore, overnight we had 0.6 mm or rain. While that's a tiny amount of rain, it will help greatly in encouraging the disintegration of the masses of dead grass and other annuals.

Following the overnight rain, many mosses are now green, or partly so. There was not enough rain to restore green on the liverwort (Asterella californica), nor on the coffee fern (Pellaea andromedifolia). In one place in upper Canyon 3B a few fronds of goldenback fern (Pentagramma triangularis) were trying to become green again, with their edges still shrivelled and brown.

Undoubtedly this week's great happening is the massed flowers on one of the two chaparral currant plants in Canyon 5. It's impressive. The second of these plants, not far from the first, also had flowers, but not nearly as many.

Something that seems out of season: Along the track into Canyon 8, near the bottom of the north hillside, was a sole flower of four o'clock (Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia). In upper Canyon 3B was a specimen of this species with several nicely fresh flowers.

The Russian thistle (Salsola tragus) loves this weather and has many blooms. This makes if easy to spot the plants, and I removed over too of them, mostly on the upper north hillside.

California brickellbush

California coffeeberry

Chaparral currant

Chaparral currant

California sagebrush

Wishbone bush

Wishbone bush


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