It’s been a dry year for California. Water districts all over the state are geared up for drought conditions. The hills in the Orange County area are still golden-brown in mid-April. Last year at this time, they had finally turned green for spring.
Here’s a shot from the Irvine Spectrum area from April 6, 2006:
That’s not a lawn behind that hedge, that’s a vacant lot. You can see it’s just as green as the strip of maintained grass along the sidewalk. Now here’s a picture taken about half a block away, taken last week, on April 6, 2007 (no, the timing was not intentional).
This year, only a few weeds and flowers have managed to take hold in the vacant lot. Meanwhile, the hills are their usual golden brown. Somehow, I don’t think we’re going to see much in the way of wildflowers this year. Here’s what they looked like last May, specifically May 5, 2006.
Instead, everything pretty much looks like these hills out in the Foothill Ranch area (IIRC this was called Borrego Park), taken last Wednesday:
You can see what a difference sprinklers make. Which brings me to this item: I walked to the Spectrum shopping center for lunch last Friday, and noticed that the parking lot across the street was bordered with these brilliant magenta flowers. I didn’t have the good camera with me, just my phone, but
I’ve tried to correct the colors as much as I could:
Right after taking
this photo, I looked down and noticed that the embankment was practically crawling with bees. I carefully backed away and continued on my walk.