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:
Nightshade is one of the earliest bloomers, you may see them in December:
Poison oak is very sneaky with no leaves, that will be changing soon:
Elderberry drops everything pretty quickly by the end of August, so just a few months in the nude:
My heart-leaf penstemon started coming back as soon as the nights cooled:
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.
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.
Keep your eyes on the ground for the first shoots of wild cucumber
The rejuvenation of all the hummingbird sage
And 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:
Happy hunting Ramblerinos.