|We saw exactly two poppies blooming. In a few weeks there will be thousands.|
|This was the single Monkey-flower we found. There will be many more!|
The delineation is sharp. When one turns off of LaGrange Road onto Red Hills Road one sees oak woodlands and open fields thick with grass. But only about a mile in, the oak and grass suddenly give way to Ceanothus shrubs and Gray Pine. Grass is almost nonexistent, with various flower species making up the ground cover. Much of the year the ground cover is dead and dry, but for a few weeks in the spring, the hills burst into color, and there is a spectacular show of wildflowers, dominated by Monkey-flowers and Poppies.
I wandered over to the creek to see if the fish were around. The Red Hills host a rare and endangered subspecies of the California Roach, the Red Hills Roach (Lavinia symmetricus). The fish were for a short time thought to be extinct when the extended drought dried up the intermittent creeks that they called home. But a few spring-fed pools persisted during the driest times, and the fish are doing okay.
They were in a frenzy of feeding or breeding, or just doing some heavy partying when I found them. I caught some video below. All in all, life is returning in the foothills during these brief weeks before the hot dry times come again all too soon.
Happy Easter, all!