That little conversation got me thinking about our Coastal Southern California Spring Flowers. There is certainly a preponderence of yellow. For most of the year, giant coreopsis looks like raddegy deformed cactus. It grows in incredibly unlikely spots such as the edges of cliffs and in rocky crevices as well as steep hillsides. Only during the short rainy season does it bloom, sending bright yellow daisy like bouquets reaching toward the blue sky.
A shorter shrub blooms at the same time. I think this native California plant is a marguerite daisy, but I'm not sure. I did spend a bit of time researching in both books and on the web, but I didn't find any photo identification. These bushes are everywhere in the hills and along the country roads and sometimes grow mingled in with the giant coreopsis. On Saturday, The Professor and I stopped at the Chumash Trail head near Mugu Rock on Hwy 1 along the beach so I could photograph these flowers close up. As I was walking through the brush near the trail, a hiker stopped on his way down the path to warn me that he had just seen a very large snake slither into the very section of underbrush I was approaching! After he showed me a photo of the snake he'd taken, we determined that it wasn't a rattlesnake but merely a non poisionous king snake. Nevertheless, I decided that my photos of these daisies by the trail were sufficient.
These giant coreopsis may own the best ocean view real estate in the county!
You can just barely see some little flowers in the bottom left corner of the photo above. Those are wild mustard. In the photo below, you can compare the size of the blooms with the stones, broken abalone shell, and cigarette butt. Even though the mustard flowers are tiny, they bloom profusely at the same time as the 'daisies' and the coreopsis and when all three plants are scattered all over a hillside, it's not easy to tell them apart from a distance.
What I am sure of is that it is Spring in Southern California, the hills are carpeted with yellow flowers, and they are beautiful!