Vetch & Poppies

One hears people saying that California has no seasons, that they miss the climate of the country east of the Rockies. Personally, I think it's sour grapes. Besides, California has seasons, maybe more of them than the four that are known to the easterners.

And out in the country one becomes very aware of the changes that occur from day to day, week to week, and month to month. Sometimes, the changes can be violent, when the major winter storms sweep through, growling down from the Gulf of Alaska and bringing heavy downpours and their attendant floods and mudslides. Sometimes the changes are more subtle, as the green grasses turn to gold with summer's approach.

The changes show most clearly in the plant life. First the hills grow green, then colorful as the wildflowers bloom; barley lengthens in the fields so one can watch the wind dancing on the hillside; then the hills turn gold as the grain and grasses ripen.

May 2, 2000. Driving back from King City I saw that the first barley was being harvested. In my canyon it has barely headed out, but closer to the river the crop is more advanced, and the hills are already turning to the gold that will characterize summer.

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