Sunday, January 24, 2010

sunrise from home
January 24, 2010

I do love sunrises! It's an incredible light show each morning when it's not foggy or raining.

magnolia ~ 01/24/10 ~ Memory Garden

magnolia tree in Memory Garden

This is the first magnolia flower of the year from my favorite tree in the Memory Garden.

ps 11/26/13 - This past month I noticed a couple blooms on this tree.  I thought it might be confused with the different weather we're having.  When I visited Pete in Berkeley, this same type of magnolia was in full bloom and leafing out.  He claims it always blooms twice a year.  I'll have to pay attention to that in the future.  This tree definitely goes in my dream garden.

blossom ~ 01/24/10 ~ Monterey

Prunus sp.

Seeing the bright pink around here, reminds me it's ready to be spring. Notice the fall leaves still on the tree in the background of the first picture?

Omphalotus olivascens

Like my generic ID? As I've stated before, I have difficulty identifying this kingdom of living organisms. We found these at the base of a recently chopped down tree.

ps 01/06/11 - I had this originally identified as simply fungi. I've found some better ID resources since originally posting this and have corrected the ID above.

pss 01/25/11 - I've been checking this stump for the past month or so. This year's jack-o-lanterns were particularly prolific and impressive. Unfortunately, I don't carry the camera during my morning walks and have no current pictures to post. Today, several looked liked they were in the process of melting into a shiny goo. It's actually a bit disgusting.
Ceanothus sp.

We saw this on the side of the rec trail near the Fisherman's Wharf. I noticed this more than the other ceanothus blooming right now, because the leaves are unusually small.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

habitat ~ 01/20/10 ~ Pacific Grove Shoreline Park

Pacific Grove Shoreline Park
January 20, 2010

It felt very stormy. The gulls were all aflutter with the crashing waves and took shelter on the pond near the lighthouse. I couldn't believe there were fellas surfing in this!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

rainbow from home

Here's a new category, similarly to sunrises, but now rainbows. We've seen quite a few of them in the past month after all the constant rain. You can barely see the double rainbow in this pic.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

coyote brush ~ 01/10/10 ~ Fort Ord

female coyote brush
Baccharis pilularis

ps - 06/25/10 - I originally posted this as unknown fluff. It's a common chaparral plant in CA, but no one has ever pointed it out to me and I simply didn't know. Like most grasses and many trees, it's one of those plants that doesn't usually catch my attention as a newbie plant lover. Thanks to Cindy at Dipper Ranch I now have an ID.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

pelagic cormorant ~ 01/03/10 ~ Cannery Row

These birds have been all the rage at the Monterey Bay Aquarium because they nest underneath the building. Unlike the Brandt's cormorants these are a bit less social.

I first heard this called the fried egg poppy, which is easy to remember for obvious reasons. It's HUGE! Apparently, it's the largest native CA flower and is extremely noticeable, even from a car going 45 mph.

It's interesting that Calflora (linked in the scientific name above) doesn't list a record of this species in Monterey or Santa Cruz Counties, nor does it show the smaller R. trichocalyx as existing locally. Plus, Coulter's is categorized as a List 4 - Watch List by the CNPS. I know both species are introduced in gardens (indeed, this pic was taken along the rec trail), but I swear I've seen it growing out in the wild along Carmel Valley Road and in Santa Cruz County along the rural end of Green Valley Road. Next time I drive out either road, I'll try to make to sure to document my sightings.

Another note of interest is my "local" Spring Wildflowers book states it blooms in May and June. Ha! Here's photographic evidence it blooms in early January!