Charlie Blair: Chapter Northern Santa Barbara County Liason

2018 has been a surprisingly good year for spring wildflowers. Except for the January deluge and some good March storms, this has been a fairly dry year. In late September, 2017, several spot fires burned along Rucker Rd. just north of Mission Hills near Lompoc, California. In spite of sparse rainfall, there has been encouraging regrowth on trees and shrubs and blooming of wildflowers. There is re-sprouting on several trees and shrubs including Coast Live Oak, Chamise, California Sagebrush, Shagbark Manzanita. There was vigorous blooming of the Fremont Camas, California Croton, Hedge-mint, Wedge-leaf Horkelia (AKA Honeydew), and Chia, among others. Wild Cucumber, Blue Dicks, Miner’s Lettuce, Spanish Clover, Golden Yarrow, and others were starting to show. Since this was a shorter, faster moving fire than the Thomas Burn, there was not as severe damage. A group of us visited the area on 19 May, and were encouraged with what we saw. I will be following this area and revisiting it with more complete reporting.