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Dusty days are here again (and a few wildflowers)

February 16, 2016

Dear Orange County:

We regret to inform you that although the much-hyped El Nino has brought an epic big-wave season to your coastline, the much-much-much-hyped rains send their regrets that they will not be attending your nightly news weather forecasts in the foreseeable future.


The Atmosphere

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 11.12.48 AM

Not only is it not raining, it’s been ferociously HOT for weeks, with temperatures near 90 F every day . . . which has transformed winter’s sticky clay trails back to their more usual “poof dust” condition.

The few inches of rain we did receive back in early January invited some shrubby bloomers to play-act at spring . . . and a few annual wildflowers have also begun to blossom recently. Here’s some from this morning’s run around the hills near Irvine Park:

(Clockwise from upper left: wishbone plant, nightshade, fiddleneck, wild cucumber, encelia, snakeweed, wild hyacinth)

And, of course, our reptilian friends are lovin’ this break from winter chill:

It’s rarely un-smoggy enough to see the white cliffs of Catalina Island (26 miles from the coast, and my vantage point on Barham Ridge is another 20 miles inland) like this . . . but today was one of those mornings:


While we take all this fine weather for granted, winter storm Olympia is serving up ice and snow in the eastern U.S. . . . difficult to imagine here in water-rationing-land.

Weather . . .

It must be watched, of course, but it is well to remember that Nature has a way of her own in adjusting these matters, and the position of those dependent on her benevolence is exactly described by the late Mark Twain when he said that he heard a great deal of complaint about the weather, but no one seemed to do anything about it.”

But did Mark Twain really come up with this observation? See this interesting bit of literary detective work, and then decide . . .


2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2016 2:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing more lovely pictures of another barefoot wander with us. It’s turned into quite a dry summer here in Brisbane so there’s a bit of dust about here too. Your blue skies mirror ours at the moment. 🙂

    • February 16, 2016 8:26 pm

      Hi Jane– Glad you enjoyed the pictures. It turned out to be 95 today! Too hot for winter!

      “Blue skies and a bit of dust” sounds like a good opening line for a poem 🙂

      Happy Summer-in-Winter Trails . . .

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