Which are, if the scale isn't evident, tall spikes of flowers about ten feet tall, which we dubbed "scary purple things" until I finally got decent internet today and (since I am the sort of person who Googles rather than, say, calling up the Master Gardeners or grabbing random people on the street and asking) found out that it's Echium pininana or giant viper's bugloss. Those of us who are familiar with normal viper's bugloss are all going ooh, ah, while those who live in climates similar to the Canary Islands (where it hails from) are probably saying, "what, that old thing?" as you, annoyingly, do. Though really I challenge anyone to dismiss this plant cavalierly, even when it's overplanted to the degree that northern Californians seem to do. Because it's scary. And just because something is common doesn't make it less terrifying.
I took this photo in Mendocino, which is a lovely New England-style town that stood in for Cabot Cove, Maine, in the Murder She Wrote series. It would do that fine as long as you avoided shooting the giant viper's bugloss. (And any number of other less obvious plant species that don't belong in Maine.) In the foreground of the photo is some kind of wild radish which I ate the seedpods of, because cruciferous plants are one thing I do recognize in this wonderland of vegetation.
I'll post more wonders later, but just couldn't wait on this. Ooh, ah.