Skip to content

Death and life in the heat of winter

March 15, 2015

A record-setting end-of-winter heat wave these last few days: intense sunshine and temps in the mid-90s have made it a bit warm to run mid-day, but as the shadows lengthened Friday afternoon, I was ready to see how the wildflowers were bearing up outside Irvine Park.

Owl's clover and sand pygmy stonecrop

Owl’s clover and stonecrop . . . getting a bit dry, but still bravely blooming.

Having some shadow fun,  admiring lupine still in bloom.

Having some shadow fun, admiring lupine still in bloom.

Lupine and non-native grasses

Although the heat is sizzling the flowers, here’s one last field of lupine shining in the low light (amidst a field of non-native invasive weeds).

The most in-your-face thing in bloom this time of year does not belong here: non-native, invasive black mustard. It smears its yellow nastiness all over our hills as it crowds out the less-agressive native wildflowers.

The most in-your-face thing in bloom this time of year does not belong here: non-native, invasive black mustard. It smears its yellow nastiness all over our hills as it crowds out the less-agressive native wildflowers.

Mustard mustard everywhere, and not a drop of pink.

More yucky mustard. It lines the trails in many places, gives off a heavy musky suffocating odor, and makes me sad about what might be blooming here if the mustard hadn’t taken over.

dead western fence lizard and bare feet

Not everything was late-afternoon sunshine and flowers, though . . . this western fence lizard looked to be recently separated from his tail–and life–by something other than bare feet careening down the trail. Mountain bikes, perhaps?

I've been keeping tabs on this trap door spider home for several years; each time I re-visit after rain, I fear it's been washed away, but it's still there.

On a happier note: I’ve been keeping tabs on this trap door spider home for several years; each time I re-visit after rain, I fear it’s been washed away, but it’s still there . . . out in the nearby wilds of our Orange County foothills.

Here's a shiny critter who always cheers me up when we meet along the trail. Darkling beetles: there's that sense they have an important a destination in mind, but they're never too busy say "hello, toes" as they head for who knows where.

Here’s a shiny critter who always cheers me up when we meet along the trail. Darkling beetles: there’s that sense they have an important destination in mind, but they’re never too busy say “hello, toes” as they head for who knows where.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: