The Chaparral After Some Rain


For the last ten days I’ve been living inside a cloud, literally. Rainy season on the mountaintop can be like this, slow constant drizzle for days, a shower here and there. So far we’ve got a little over two inches of rain, enough to wake the chaparral out of its summer dormancy. The sun just came out, the fog is slowly receding in the distance.


The lingering moisture will not last long.

Flat Rock

A natural moss and lichen garden.

New Grass

Annual Mediterranean grasses germinate immediately, all it takes is a quarter inch of rain. Those in the photo must be some Bromus species, I am not sure which one. If they are lucky and the rain continues they will out-compete native annuals, which are slower to germinate. If the rains stop now and don’t come back until the end of the year, this Bromus won’t make it and the natives will have a better chance.

Dudleya lanceolata

Native perennials are waking up, like these two Dudleyas (D. lanceolata), full of water and vibrancy, ready for a new growing season.

I am the one who is not ready for a new growing season. After all the work in the summer garden and all the putting food by I rather wander around the chaparral with my camera. The garden can wait, whether the carrots or the arugula go in a few days earlier or later, it doesn’t matter. As long as I plant the garlic and the favas on time…

Right now I am out here on the rocks with the moss and the dudleyas, the sun is shining, I can finally see the ocean after ten days of living inside a cloud.

6 Responses to “The Chaparral After Some Rain”

  1. Michelle Says:

    What a gorgeous view you have! At least when you’re not enveloped in clouds. It hasn’t been as cloudy and rainy here, we’ve seen a bit more of the sun. The rain has been refreshing, it smells fantastic outside right now, there’s an interesting spiciness. I’ve noticed the the oaks around here are really loaded down with acorns. Thanks for the tour around your lovely bit of chaparral.

    • Angela Moll Says:

      I love the views from the mountaintop. Fresh and spicy, that’s right, that’s how it feels right now as I step out the door. The jays and the squirrels are very busy this year with so many acorns.

  2. Mary Says:

    Love seeing your side of the mountains…you always have such great photos! Soft green grass starting to cover the hillsides already…

  3. Curbstone Valley Farm Says:

    We were fortunate to get three inches this last weekend, and it’s amazing how quickly things start to sprout back. I love your photo of the moss of lichen. I could stare at mosses and lichens for hours, they’re just fascinating. Now the rains are here, with more on the way at the end of the week for us, I have so much fall planting to do, including lots of native annuals. I hope the clouds part long enough to get your garlic planted!

    • Angela Moll Says:

      Three inches is good so early in the season, the natives must be sprouting already in your area. The sun is out now, I can do my planting but I am still feeling that contemplating moss and lichen is a better use of my outdoor time. There will be time for everything, I hope.

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