Monday, January 16, 2012

First Blooms: 1/15/2012, Santa Rosa Escarpment

I thought a few of the first blooms I observed last week on the Santa Rosa escarpment would turn out to be outliers, that is, individuals blooming so far ahead of the rest of their species that they are not good indicators of a first bloom for the species. This week I observed new individuals blooming for purple nightshade and monkey flower, suggesting that both of these species are beginning to bloom. Hoaryleaf ceannothus is also building up to peak. I estimate that this plant is about 50 % of the crest we can expect in the next two weeks when the hillsides will become white with this bush. Already, the lilac smell is quite strong. It should be noted that a couple years ago, this species experienced a significant die off.

Last week I thought my manzanita photo represented an individual not quite in bloom. This week I saw no progress amoung the manzanita blooms but a lot of listless blooms. I wonder if I missed the peak of the manzanita.

First blooms on 1/15/2012:
Unidentified. Looks similar to California Everlasting

Unidentified: I see a lot of this plant, so I shouldn't have trouble identifying it soon. I observed multiple individuals starting to bloom.

Black sage: I observed multiple individuals blooming

Wild cucumber; I observed many individuals in bloom

Other developments of interest, though not necessarily blooms:

Dead hoaryleaf ceanothus. The gray color of the distant hillside (left side of the picture) is due to numerous dead members of this species

First sprouting of a fern that grows in rock crevasses throughout the escarpment. I've never seen a bloom for it, so I'll follow it's yearly growth instead.

First bloom of locoweed. I don't see this plant on the escarpment; it occurs in a disturbed area on the approach to the escarpment

More blooming monkeyflower


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