July 8, 11 am.
It is a cool, foggy morning and I reflect on how wonderful it is to have fog in the summer. So far this summer has been the perfect temperature a far as I am concerned. The afternoons have warmed up nicely but the mornings retain their coolness until then. Today I travel out to the north end of the valley, where the large wetland is. I want to see how wet it is at this point and hope to walk out to Outlet creek from there. As I walk out into the grassland to the east of it, I begin to see a lovely pink flower everywhere along the pat. It seems to be taller and more abundant than last year. This is the lovely summer blooming,Monterey Centaury, or Muelenberg’s Centaury, Zeltnera muehlenbergii. It is a common wildflower of the Willits area in grassy areas and in woodlands too.
There are other flowers blooming too, many non-natives, but I am looking out for the natives. The Denseflower Willow herb, Epilobium densiflorum is in full bloom. It is also a pink flower but belongs to a different family of plants. It has very hairy leaves and a dense flower head. I often find them growing in ditches along roadsides
Then I see a beautiful blue lily, Harvest brodiaea, Brodiaea elegans, a perennial bulb that can grow to 50 centimeters tall. These are not that tall! There are many of these and other flowers that I know are making lots of butterflies and native bees very happy.