Hillside walk, 14 November 2016

With the hillside continuing to be so dry, it's tempting week after week to report on the dryness. The story is repetitive. Each week it seems drier. It probably isn't drier, considering that a few weeks ago we had a half inch of rain, spread over several days. The green grass that followed that rain is still with us, although it won't last long if we have no further rain, say in the coming month. It's just that things look drier each week because last year's annuals, i.e. grasses, mustard, and other mostly weeds, become more and more trampled each week, primarily by the deer, and the areas churned up by animal feet become progressively larger.

I'm beginning to notice a significant amount of dead foliage on the scrub oak (Quercus sp.), a very common small tree on this hillside. Just one specimen that saw appears completely dead.

Despite the lack of rain, the season continues to progress. Apart from the fact that noting is in high bloom, the one new bloom this week is bush monkeyflower (Diplacus longiflorus), just a single flower in lower Canyon 2. This is similar to last year's occurrence, although last year it began flowering a few weeks earlier.

The mulefat (Baccharis salicifolia) in lower Canyon 3 continues to have a small number of blooms although what's interesting is that the flowers are only on the one clump of plants, probably all one specimen, and the flowers are male only.

Sawtoothed goldenbush



California brickellbush

Leafy California buckwheat


California sagebrush

Twiggy wreath plant

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