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:

Street corner, facing a vacant lot covered with green grass, in front of green hills with a clutch of houses to the right.

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).

Same lot, from a different angle, all dry brown stubble.  The hills in the background, a bit fuzzy, are also light brown.

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.

Hills covered with green grass and yellow wildflowers.

Instead, everything pretty much looks like these hills out in the Foothill Ranch area (IIRC this was called Borrego Park), taken last Wednesday:

Light brown foothills behind a green lawn.

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: I went back on Monday and got a better picture.

Purple Flowers.

Right after taking this the original photo, I looked down and noticed that the embankment was practically crawling with bees. I carefully backed away and continued on my walk.

One thought on “Dry spell

  1. […] We really could have used this campaign earlier in the year. We knew by the end of spring that it had been a really dry season. There were articles in the newspapers, though they weren’t screaming for attention on the front page. Water districts were aware of it. Or, if you’re the sort to pay attention to such things, you might have noticed that the hills still hadn’t turned green by April. […]

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