There's a Reason California is a Nice Place to Live, Drought and All
This post is directed (gently) at those who like to disparage those of us who choose to live in California, that dystopian socialistic state on the West Coast of North American continent. There are problems here like anywhere else, but there are moments of pure magic too. Those moments last days sometimes, even weeks or months. Take winter for instance. According to the calendar, it's still winter, and in many parts of the country people are still digging out of the snow. We have snow in California, at least when the drought is not so intense. We can visit our snow any time we want! And then we can go back down into our green valleys and soak up some sunshine.
We actually have two kinds of "snow". The other is falling off the almond trees about now, as the they bloom and set fruit. Yes, that's happening now. I left a week ago to go take a field class to Death Valley, and when I got back it seemed like the entire Great Valley was awash in white blossoms. It was a startling change.
Death Valley was having one of the greatest flower shows in decades, but coming home I realized that we are going to have a nice flower show in our valley and foothills this year as well. One of the best of our local wildflower spots is the Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern (how is THAT for a name?). The little mini-wilderness in the Sierra Nevada Mother Lode protects a unique area of serpentine soils that have little in the way of invasive grasses, and lots of endemic flower species. It's on the verge of exploding into a living kaleidoscope of color. I'd be lying to say there were lots of flowers today, but there were a few dozen early blooms of Monkey-flower, but in a few weeks there will be thousands upon thousands. They'll be followed by orange Golden Poppies and blue Lupines shortly after. I'll keep you posted!