January Week 4

1-31-10 Bladderleaf Lomatium along Terra Linda Ridge: Ferny leaves and delicate umbels struggle up through shattered purple chert.

1-30-10 Manroot on the trail down to Sorich Ranch. With a root that can weigh in at more than a hundred pound, manroot might be up for the battle with the blue gum it's climbing on.

1-30-10 Bay Laurel high on San Rafael Ridge. In Kew Gardens a bay laurel is labeled "Headache Tree." It will give you a headache if you inhale too much of the spicy scent from a crushed leaf, but this is one of the signature fragrances of coastal and foothill California.

1-28-10 Vanilla Grass along Bon Tempe: No lavish flowers, but a forest-floor grass whose dried leaf will retain the scent of old vanilla for years.

1-28-10 Slinky Pods in the woods by Bon Tempe. Slinky pods, fetid adder's tongue, whatever its name it's one of the earliest harbingers of spring.

1-28-10 Moss on the trail to Bon Tempe Lake, where a steep meadow is broken by dozens of rocky outcrops, each clothed through the wet season in a minutely figured, ornate surcoat of emerald mosses and Lilliputian flowering plants.

1-27-10 Shooting Stars high up on the Yolanda Trail. Another Fuzzy Photographic Wonder.

1-27-10 Hounds Tongue at the Deer Park end of the Yolanda Trail. I know, I know: It's a terrible fuzzy picture, but the first hound's tongue is a cause for major seasonal celebration. I promise to get better with my iPhone's camera.

1-26-10 Sun Cups along a road in Fairfax. Not the first wildflower of the season (the earliest species' blooms unfurled in December) but the first I had the notion of blogging.



  1. Susie Bright said,

    February 4, 2010 at 12:32 am

    These are so beautiful, Bill, I love your new blog!

  2. Irene Brady said,

    February 6, 2010 at 2:47 am

    It feels as though we hiked this trail together, experiencing the flowers you saw like this. And you took these with your I-PHONE? Great pics, in that case!

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