After first rains - California Springs into Action

We got 7 inches of rain in the recent storm, and more rain yesterday. Today dawned pure and clean and lovely. I read somewhere that the California spring begins after the first rains. As I was walking along our Santa Cruz Mountains ridge-top road this morning with the redoubtable Duncan, I saw plenty examples of that truth. Photographic evidence follows!

What will those seedlings grow into?

Redwoods extending their lovely branches.

Weedy grasses.

Black salvia - local native.

Turnaround point for my walk - view towards the ocean and Santa Cruz/Soquel.


More black sage.

Patient manzanita buds - been hanging around all year.

Stump-sprouting chamise.

OK, those acorns look like Fall I guess!

Local monkey flower, new leaves forming amid the old.

Tiny golden back fern.

Lessingia filaginifolia. Beach aster.

Yerba buena, local native.

Budbreak for Ribes indecorum, planted, locally native somewhere too.

Back home, the view has changed.

Even the stones from Sonoma came with moss that is growing.

California grape in a large pot.

Even a few seeds in my seed flats :-\

I think the above is a volunteer toyon. In a corner of the pool garden.

Trusty British garden standby!

Can't get rid of the calla lilies!

Oh No! Say it isn't so! Not the Oxalis pes-caprae!

The above two are in last year's meadow effort. I expect 90 percent weeds, 10 percent coyote brush.

Back on the front porch, the dutchman's pipe is budding and extending. I wonder if we'll get butterflies on it this year?

I think you'll agree with me now. Spring has sprung!


Christine said…
I love the even-handed treatment of the good, bad and ugly! I'm so excited to see what springs up, but I'm not looking forward to devising evil schemes against the oxalis!
Also, it's good to see I'm not the only hard-core native nerd that has to make a few exceptions sometimes (the snapdragon)! Enjoy the good planting weather!
Scott & Liz said…
Killer images, particularly the vista shots. Always a pleasure to learn about natives in other areas. They make up over 75% of our gardens. Thanks for the walkabout, Mice.
Anonymous said…
Funny, I have seedlings right now that look just like those mystery seedlings in your picture. (Mine are some combination of three species that I scattered seeds of recently: Erysimum capitatum, Collinsia heterophylla, and Clarkia unguiculata. But I can't tell yet which are which.) And then I have a bunch of those weedy grass seedlings, too.
Country Mouse said…
Year by year, I become more attuned to checking for new natives in the mix of things that comes up from seedlings, and I do see more types of natives each year which is wonderful. I also try to know my enemies - what has to go or anyway not go to seed. I am hand-pulling and sheet-mulching with cardboard or newspaper and chips on top - that is effective against most things. I have plenty of areas not under mulch, so I'm not so worried about the bees etc. But I really dislike the orgiastic weeding sessions that are required each year for so many months in order to make headway against the invaders. It's worth it though.
I wish I had better pictures of the four cotton-tail bunnies who were hippity-hopping and touching noses with each other the other morning, right outside my window - talk about spring in the air!
Is it spring already in California? Everything is green and fresh!
Gail said…
The misty views are spectacular. I had heard that California greens back up in the fall...It looks wonderful. gail
Susan Morrison said…
Lovely photos and a reminder that lush green hills are just around the corner in California. I love the look of the landscape in the winter - even driving down the freeway is a pleasure surrounded by all that natural beauty.

On the other hand, I much prefer my garden in the spring and summer.
Country Mouse said…
Yes, California greens up and all of us who came from wetter greener climes soak it in while it lasts. Even since I took those photos things are noticeably greener. Had I had more time I would have done this post as "all four seasons in one day" but I didn't, and the spring seasonal signs were just so wonderful. I am looking forward to seeing what all the seedlings grow into.
Barbara said…
Don't you just love nature? Spring has sprung here too. Lots of wildflower seeds have germinated (with weeds, as you noted). Spurge is a scourge in my garden. Hope we get some more rain in not too long.