Stories from the mountain.

May 28, 2021

farewell to spring

Clarkia amoena, or farewell to spring, are some of the last flowers to bloom in spring here on the mountain. They seem to love the dry soil, but don't last all that long because of it. Sometimes you'll see whole hillsides covered in them. This is…

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May 14, 2021

red ribbons

Clarkia concinna, or red ribbons, is a Northern California native that can only be found here. Right now, they are popping up near where the innocence is blooming most heavily. Those few acres of shady hillside under the oaks and buckeyes seem to be…

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May 7, 2021

pussy ears

Calochortus tolmiei, or pussy ears, get their common name from their remarkable resemblance to the ears of a cat. If that cat was purple and white. :) They grow everywhere around here and bloom in early May. The fields and forests are dotted with t…

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May 1, 2021


Collinsia heterophylla, or innocence, is another one of my favorite flowers. Every May, it pops out in towers of purple flowers that sometimes cover entire hillsides. They are native to California and here they grow best in the shady oak and buckeye…

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I got my wish. It rained today. :) So I spent the morning out listening to the black-headed grosbeaks. They show up around this time every year and stay for a few months. Their distinctive song is so beautiful. It relaxes and calms me so I thought …

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April 17, 2021

canyon larkspur

It was warm and sunny here this week, so Bodhi and I took a few good long hikes and found a patch of canyon larkspur, a beautiful native flower. Orange is one of my favorite colors, and I really love it when these start to pop up every April. Whe…

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April 10, 2021

ninja & the redbud

This week, Joe and Ninja took a walk up the hill by one of the western redbud trees. It's been warm, so Ninja took a minute to cool off in the shade and Joe grabbed a photo of him and the redbud. It's such a great shot, and it's not easy to get a go…

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April 3, 2021

pacific hound's tongue

Pacific Hound's Tongue is blooming everywhere on the mountain this week. It's beautiful blue and purple flowers are on a stem that's about a foot tall. It's the only species in the genus Adelinia, and the roots were used to make a Native American r…

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March 24, 2021

madrone flowers

The Pacific Madrones are flowering. They're in the same family as manzanita, but much larger. This one is covered in flowers right now. I think it may be blooming with some extra vigor because it has a fungal infection in its leaves, which is why so…

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March 19, 2021

red-bellied newt

Red-bellied newts are one of my favorite critters up here on the mountain, and they are only found here in Northern California. In the summer, you'll see them down in the creek, which is where they lay their eggs. In the winter, they are frequently…

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