Two flowers that are noticeable as you walk through the dunes in late summer and early fall:
California Goldenrod (Solidago velutina). Having struggled at times with identifying the many species of goldenrods in New England, I was surprised to find that there is only one species of goldenrod on Bodega Head. The Jepson Manual describes the inflorescence, or flower head, as wand-shaped. The species name, velutina, refers to the velvety leaves. There are 12 species of goldenrods in California.
California Goldenbush or Mock Heather (Ericameria ericoides). This is an attractive native sub-shrub (low to the ground) that reaches its northern limit at Bodega Head. It's endemic to California. [Another New England connection: In general form and appearance, this species reminds me of Hudsonia ericoides on Cape Cod, sometimes known as False Heather or Golden Heather. The species name, ericoides, means "heather-like."]
Above, Melanie Daniels (a.k.a. Tippi Hedren — who's coming to The Tides in Bodega Bay this weekend!) shows off the goldenbush flowers. If you haven't yet seen this doll, it's an authentic barbie doll released in 2008 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock's, The Birds. Much of the movie was filmed on Bodega Head, in Bodega Bay, and in Bodega.