Against my best-laid plans, Nature forces me to move the goal posts. Autumn is here, beginning in July. Autumn in the Bay Area: the dry time. Plants shut down and hang on until water comes again. Leaves dry up and fall down. Our invasive Spanish annual grasses turn yellow-brown, or as we say, golden.
There are still a few wildflowers showing. I have heard that Indian pink is still out; I have seen it at Portola Valley Ranch, and have heard a rumor about upper Corte Madera Creek (?). Farewell-to-spring, of course. In the shade along San Francisquito Creek, which still drains fog-drip water down from the hills, a few shy flowers show their faces.
But is indisputably autumn, not spring. Just go out, walk around. Growth has paused.
The index plant for seasons in Jasper Ridge, the California buckeye (Aesculus californica), has finished flowering. Most flower spikes are rapidly drying out, dissipating. The tiny buckeyes at the tip are starting to develop from the fertilized flowers. The palmate buckeye leaves, so fresh and vigorous in springtime, have dried out and are dropping from the tree. Soon we will have hemispheres of branches, decorated with buckeyes, waiting for the rain.
I have selected a few images from this season for your concentrated pleasure. Feel free to check out more photos of this season in "A Day at a Time" and "Adventures on a Smaller Scale" -- some (most?) of these are more interesting than beautiful.
And there are bonus images from autumn 2017 -- added here as I go back and review the past.