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Many California native plants are dormant during the hot summer period, and at the same time the grasses have faded away, leaving scenes that can look dry indeed. The recent years of below-average rainfall have also impacted some of the evergreen plants. Despite the parched appearacne, there are always things to see and places to explore.
The humble liverwort occurs in numerous places, including many suburban locations, but typically shows itself only after rain. Liverworts are bryophytes, plants that have no veins, which means they rely on rain water falling directly on their leaves and being absorbed.
You often hear people whining about southern California having no weather, no seasons. I beg to differ. All you have to do is go up the mountains to a higher elevation. There you have winter weather: snow, ice, fog, frost. You have fire season: Santa Ana winds, single digit humidity. You have rainy season: mist, slick roads, rocks tumbling down, debris flows. It's all there. This article discusses the aftermath of the Station Fire of 2009.
The last days of summer “Aw.ró.reh.vay” sent the Tongva food gatherers even farther afield than normal. Some ventured out to the edges of the desert. What was the search? Salt and especially in the plants known as “Kasil” or more commonly “Ungarr”.