Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Late Spring on the Los Gatos Creek Trail

A couple of months ago I posted about what it was like on the Los Gatos Creek Trail in early spring. Time for a followup! I took advantage of a dramatic clouds-and-blue-sky day to capture some mid-spring loveliness.

The Buckeyes (Aesculus californica) have quickly gone from tufts of leaves to large, fragrant racemes of flowers on long, leafy stems. So beautiful planted next to Redbud (Cercis occidentalis). In another two months they will start to fade into enjoy them now, darlings!
The Fennel (Foenicululm vulgare) is moving right along, and moves so gracefully with the surrounding grasses. I was surprised to see that the annual grasses had already gone to seed; I figured with the cool spring we're having that they might still be showing green. But this is a classic California palette, wouldn't you agree?

 The glossy, red seedpods on the Redbuds are particularly striking now...

Not a weed here...

Oak buds...
 An unexpected little meadow of statice...I wonder who planted it?

The Sycamore leaves are well on their way to enormity...beautiful texture.

Oak ball!

Yellow daisies...Helianthums?

Another dainty little thing...maybe an Eriogonum?

Back into familiar territory...did you ever wonder how Western Cottonwood (Populus fremontii) got its name? Wonder no more...this is one hot mess this time of year!

I mean, wow...

Not included last time was this gorgeous native, Sugar Bush (Rhus ovata) that my Facebook friends helped me identify. According to Cheryl Renshaw "The fruit is covered with a tart goop that you can suck on and then drink some water to sort of kind of have lemonade (hence the common name of the closely related Rhus integrifolia or Lemonade Berry). Cool!

Another view of Cottonwood...

Hawthorn flowers are so dainty compared to the dramatic and rather severe aspect of their bright red berries in winter. Love that leaf shape...

Eucalyptus flowers; this whole tree is aromatic.

Remember Squirrel Nutkin? (Totally dating myself, aren't I!)

One, last luminous Cistus blossom along the path leading home...thanks for joining me! Things will look quite different soon...


  1. Nice hike; didn't know Sugarbush was native up there. A very nice (large) landscape plant for sure; some in Abq landscapes.

    Funny, but I just had someone send me pics of Calif Buckeye from some nice small trees at either UNM or the Abq Zoo. I will have to watch, to see if they go dormant here under drip irrigation.

  2. What a wonderful spring hike. Love the buckeye. And the redbud. And -- ah, never mind, it's all glorious. Thanks for sharing.

  3. We do have so many beautiful native species here in Cali. Now is it just me or do Buckeye's have a certain human male fragrance?

  4. Nice article, thanks for the information.

  5. These are really nice pictures of what our California has to offer. thanks again!

  6. It all looks fantastic! And especially beautiful against the blue sky... I've not seen the Cottonwood before, very interesting! Thanks for the great post :)