Extra Dry

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.


biobabbler said…
2 weekends ago we noticed the dogwood in Yosemite Valley was starting to turn--seems MIGHTY early, but I think in this drought, plants are looking for ANY excuse to drop leaves that can aid desiccation.

While it is a foe of my skin, I must admit poison oak can be pretty gorgeous when it's all red-ed up like that. And Clematis sure know how to make a rockin' seed head. =) Thanks for the lovely veg tour. =)
ryan said…
A guy who works with me has always wanted me to plant poison oak. From a distance in a large space it's a beautiful color and it has really good habitat value, but I can't quite see adding it to a landscape on purpose.
Paul Furman said…
Robber-fly is my best guess for that guy on the Coyote Brush. I love revisiting natural areas!
Country Mouse said…
Paul I have a feeling you meant to leave a comment on "Morning fog and drought" - thanks for the tip!