February Week 1

2-1-10 Very early Baby Blue-Eyes on an old road cut along the Juniper Trail, San Geronimo, our first hint of the coming explosion of our new-every-year-from-seed annuals

2-1-10 Redwood Violet under redwoods on the Juniper Trail. Soon, inches away from this little flower, trilliums will begin to push up their first green leaves.

2-1-10 White Alder catkins at the Salmon Ladder on Lagunitas Creek

2-2-10 male Beaked Hazelnut catkins on the Whites Hill section of the Bay Ridge Trail. What we didn't find today were the female flowers, bright red, jellylike miniature sea anemones

2-3-10 My first California Poppy of the year at China Camp State Park

2-3-10 Coast Sanicle, or Snakeroot, China Camp. It has a twisted, anise-flavored root

2-3-10 Indian Warrior at China Camp. These early bloomers are hemiparasites (they also photosynthesize) mostly on the roots of manzanita and madrone

2-3-10 Parry Manzanita in extravagant bloom along the Shoreline Trail in China Camp

2-6-10 The ornate flower of California Pipevine below Juarez Av in Forest Knolls. This hard-to-find woodland vine gives us one of our loveliest butterflies, the Pipevine Swallowtail

2-6-10 Eastwood Manzanita, with its fire-resistant burls and glowing red-brown bark, on Greens Hill

2-6-10 An unexpected and unseasonally early treasure, the first half-open flower of Wood Strawberry on San Geronimo Ridge

A week of mild temperature and intermittent rain, good for hiking, good for mud. The progression of spring this early in the season is steady and deliberate; we found new flowers this week mostly by exploring places we hadn’t yet visited, not by stumbling on seasonal change.


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