Hillside walk, 08 November 2017

The hillside seems drier than ever. The few mm of rain that fell about ten days ago produced some greening, noticeable especially on the mosses, but it's gone now. For example, Bigelow's spikemoss (Selanginella bigelovii) in Canyon 6 looks like it came live in a big way, a patch about 6 inches diameter, but now it looks gray and dry. Prior to that rain, there was no sign of it at all.

Last week another product of the rain was a great number of Russian thistle (Salsola fragus), much of it with flowers. It's hard to believe that it came up overnight, especially as it has woody stems. I can only assume that, like the mosses, it shrivels up and is largely unnoticeable in dry weather, as was the case today. In contrast, last week it was so obvious with green leaves and flowers. In fact, last week I removed over 100 plants on both the north and west hillsides. This week, it's as if the species is nowhere to be seen.

Chaparral currant (Ribes malvaceum) in Canyon 5 continues its mass blooming although now the little racemes have about half of their flowers withering. It's nevertheless impressive.

Sawtoothed goldenbush

California coffeeberry


Chaparral currant

Bush monkey flower


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