Sprall Has Arrived

Ahhh that was pretty nice no? That inch plus did more than wash 7 months of dust off of all the trails.  It marks the onset of what I like to call Sprall, a major wave of rebirth brought on by cooler nights and a nice dash of H2O.  Dozens of species which have been dormant for months or more come bursting forth with youthful impudence, brightening up every perambulation.

Here’s a checklist, first to find them all wins a gently used toaster oven, toast included.

These shrubs lost their foliage months ago, check the nodes and watch them swell.

Local ribes species have been bare the longest:

Chaparral currant

Chaparral currant

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Nightshade is one of the earliest bloomers, you may see them in December:

Nightshade

Nightshade

Poison oak is very sneaky with no leaves, that will be changing soon:

Poison oak

Poison oak

Elderberry drops everything pretty quickly by the end of August, so just a few months in the nude:

Mexican elderberry

Mexican elderberry

My heart-leaf penstemon started coming back as soon as the nights cooled:

Heart-leaf penstemon

Heart-leaf penstemon

Did you know that both black and purple sage have two sets of leaves?  The skinny moisture-retaining leaves are dropping (or have dropped) and the fat lush leaves will replace them.

Black sage

Black sage

Purple sage

Purple sage

I always consider California sagebrush to be the last official bloom of the calendar year.  The fall rains wake the shaggy beast and give the flower stalks inertia to emerge.

Coastal sagebrush

Coastal sagebrush

Keep your eyes on the ground for the first shoots of wild cucumber

Wild cucumber

Wild cucumber

The rejuvenation of all the hummingbird sage

Hummingbird sage

Hummingbird sage

And California peony.

California peony

California peony

Finally, Refugio Manzanita, a rare neighbor from the north is already starting to bloom in my yard, a welcome treat for hungry hummers:

Refugio manzanita

Refugio manzanita

Happy hunting Ramblerinos.

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This entry was posted in Native Plants, Ojai, rambling and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sprall Has Arrived

  1. JJ says:

    Woke with a headache; by 7:00 a.m. I’d revisited my Creedence years (yes, that old) and felt the hope of the Sprall. Great start to a morning, thank you Rambler.

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