The golden currant bloom was definitely the first sign of spring's arrival this year.
The redbud (Cercis occidentalis) was the second sign. Not nearly as spectacular as the first, but this is only the second year that the redbud has bloomed at all. I'm hoping that it will make its very first seedpods this year.
The redbud will also probably start winding down noticeably any day now. But spring is only just beginning to show itself among the lower-growing things. First it got into the wood strawberry (Fragaria vesca).
Soon I noticed it in the Sonoma sage (Salvia sonomensis).
And now it's starting to pop up in the lupines. This is arroyo lupine (Lupinus succulentus) in the front yard, but I also noticed a smaller, less photogenic flower spike in the miniature lupine (Lupinus bicolor) in the back yard.
We also have less photogenic buds on the goldfields (Lasthenia californica) and the Munroe's globemallow (Sphaeralcea munroana).
And here, on a plant that's been blooming all winter, we have actual seedpods already. This is ribbed fringepod (Thysanocarpus radians), which is generally marketed more for the ornamental value of its seedpods (the large pink and green discs) than for that of its nearly microscopic flowers (the clump of off-white spheres).
That's about it for flower photos from me for this month, but I'll share some not-so-flowery photos before I end this. Here's the last gasp of last fall, the remains of the seedpods from the Hooker's evening-primrose (Oenothera hookeri). These drew quite a bit of attention from the local goldfinches during the latter half of February. Every day for a couple of weeks, there were about 15 goldfinches sitting on the skeletal remains of last summer's evening-primroses, tearing the seedpods apart to get at the seeds. Left to their own devices, the seedpods only open a bit at the very top. The goldfinches changed the appearance of them rather dramatically, peeling each and every seedpod like a banana.
Here are some past and future flowers. First, sand-dune wallflower (Erysimum capitatum) in the front yard. Purchased a few months ago in a 4-inch pot.
Then meadowfoam (Limnanthes douglasii) in the back yard. Reseeded itself from last year's crop.
Then coyote mint (Monardella villosa) in the front yard. Purchased quite some time ago in a 4-inch pot.
Then broadleaf stonecrop (Sedum spathulifolium) in the back yard. Purchased very recently in a 4-inch pot.
Then Indian rancheria clover (Trifolium albopurpureum) in the back yard. Reseeded itself from last year's crop.
Then Didier's tulip (Tulipa gesneriana) in the front yard). Resprouting from last year's crop.
Then Pacific ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus). Purchased in November in a gallon-sized pot.
Here's a closeup of the ninebark. No flowers so far.
In summary, here's the back yard in mid-January.
And here's the back yard today. Spring is coming! Spring is coming!
Boston says you should come back here next month to see more.