Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring is starting to spring

In Southern California, we seem to be having a delayed spring this year.  Granted, our seasons are not the normal seasons that most people would associate with the traditional spring, summer, fall and winter type seasons.  Winter is the rainy season.  In the past two days, my rain gauge in the back yard has registered slightly over a third of an inch.  That doesn't seem like much, but for a desert, it's a goodly amount of rain.

We've had some warm spring days, but we've also had some unseasonably cold days mixed i there as well.  The overnight low yesterday was 39˚.  For Southern California, I can tell you, that's a Three Dog Night.  The cold has kept some of the flowers under wraps a little bit longer than usual, although some were making an appearance last weekend when we were out in the desert.  I don't think the peak of flower production has hit yet, although it seems close.

Getting back to seasons.  I think in Southern California, summer starts in late June and continues well into September, when it starts to cool down.  "Real" fall, happens usually in December.  The deciduous trees need that nice cold weather which we don't really get until after Thanksgiving for them to drop their leaves.  Winter is our rainy season from December to March, but this year, it's obviously leaked into April.  Spring happens anytime between February to June, depending upon the amount of rain.  We actually get a second flowering season in the fall as well after we get some monsoonal rain during August.  Allergy sufferers get hit twice each year.

With really wet winters, and this is above average (slightly above 20 inches of precipitation with 15 inches being "normal"), although not extreme, we'll expect to see more and more flowers, which will bloom and die quickly once the heat starts in.  Seeds will be spread everywhere and next year might even bring a bigger explosion of color.  Hiking on the trails right now should be very enjoyable.  They'll be dry in a couple of days and the flowers should be just about right.  It's a good time to be out and about.

Pictures were taken at or near the following geocaches:
BIG BURL - by Big Eagle
The Pit Stop - by Dah Mooser and MsPea

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