It's been in the news, and for one, they aren't exaggerating: we're in a drought, and things are extra dry. Above, a photo I took several weeks ago on a hike in the Los Padres National Forest. Yes, it's always dry there in fall, but this year, it's extra dry. A resident told me they had 13 inches of rain in the winter instead of the average of 35.
All that means that things go dormant sooner - above, the big leaf maple is completely yellow in early August. It normally shows its beautiful fall color a month later.
And yet, it was also quite beautiful. Just look at the fluffy seed heads of Clematis lasiantha against the clear blue sky.
Or the buckwheat, going string out there and also in my own garden.
The best fall color, as always, from the poison oak - well, at least it's easy to see it when it lights up like that.
Interestingly, some of the ferns were hanging in there, even in part sun.
And especially impressive the manzanita, which looked just as good as in spring - again, similar to the manzanita's in my garden.
So, maybe we'll have to have a stroll around the garden next and consider who's looking good, and who's more questionable. It's actually right in front of my eyes every day, so let's see whether I manage to snap the photos and share.