The setting sun casts a warm glow over the golden California hills, its last rays illuminating the tops of distant oak trees. A little used gravel road winds its way in and out of the peaceful scene, and all seems right with the world on this tranquil evening in the mountains of the San Francisco Bay Area.
I’ve mentioned our severe drought in several recent blog posts, and here is an example of the current state of the land. I took this photo last week, as the sun began to set below the hills. We have a “Mediterranean climate” (mild winters, warm to hot dry summers) and are used to the grass drying up and many plants going dormant in the summertime. However, the vegetation is particularly parched this year, and many local reservoirs have turned to cracked depressions filled with grass and a bit of mud. While there is a certain beauty to the rolling golden hillsides such as the ones depicted in this photograph, I certainly hope for a long and heavy rainy season this winter!
Lush and green, beautiful new spring foliage emerges on a fern plant growing along a wooded trail.
We’re having our first heat wave of the summer here in California, so I was drawn to post a lush and cool fern image that I took this spring up in Oregon. I am currently huddled inside in the somewhat faulty air conditioning while my plants outside fry in the heat; the lime tree looks wilted and scorched despite the fact that I watered it thoroughly, and has dropped one of its very few immature fruits in protest. The waterlily blooms have sizzled in the relentless sunshine over the past few days, and many of their petals and sepals have shriveled up and turned brown. Given that my garden is looking less than stellar at the moment, it’s nice to be able to look back through my photography and see images of it thriving. It is also fun be able to peer at photos such as this one, and to attempt to conjure up the cool, dripping, moss-covered beauty that is spring in the Pacific Northwest… right here on a hot summer’s day in California.