The Blue Hills

A few photos from the wonderful Ceanothus tomentosus (Woolly-leaf Ceanothus) bloom in our area this year. These blooms are always a highlight of spring in the chaparral for me and I’ve celebrated it before, or course – see Trailside Aroma Therapy, for example, where I wrote a little bit more about these plants, and their wonderful smell, in 2018. :)

In the photo “Slope Effect” below, in addition to the very pronounced slope effect, amidst the blue you can also see the bare, skeletal remains of old Ceanothus that was burned in the fire that came through the area in 2007. Chaparral fires are of high intensity and burn everything (so-called crown fires), but the heat isn’t enough to damage the deeper roots of plants. Ceanothus tomentosus, among many other bushes and shrubs in the chaparral, re-grows from the root when its above-ground parts are destroyed in a fire.

On small-screen devices like phones or tablets, you can just scroll down. On larger screens, you may also click on any image to open it in the slideshow gallery view – for the best effect, I suggest switching your browser to full-screen mode (Windows: F11, Mac: ^⌘F).

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9 thoughts on “The Blue Hills”

  1. There is so much magic in the desert…this is extraordinary. The first photo is sublime – That may sound overly dramatic, but I mean it. The cool blue against those warm, peachy rocks and that touch of yellow green – it’s all so harmonious. The last photograph is really beautiful as well, with the waves of bloom drawing me in. I’m so glad you went! :-)

  2. Oh wow! The Ceanothus and the boulders are so beautiful in that first picture it’s making me giddy! What a glorious sight. It seems most of our local Ceanothus is the white variety – so sweetly scented but no where near this kind of visual feast.

    • Thanks Terry! :) We have a couple of white varieties too around here, but the populations are often separate from each other. In a few places where they’re in bloom at the same time, it’s a wonderful combination.


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