I wake to the sound of a toad, quietly bleating from the lagoon behind me, then ducks chime in, calling out noisily until toad is all but drowned out. The air smells of moisture from overnight rain. It smells clean from the ocean, and full of life from all the plants and animals here. I am at my favorite campground on the Central California Coast. A wonderful respite from city life with its urban parks!
On my drive up here through Santa Barbara County, I saw wildflowers growing along the roadside and in the center strip.. for miles and miles. Only March 5th, and wildflowers already. The sky was gray and these colors jumped out with a cheery hello: Yellow Mustard mostly, Purple Lupine, and a white flower with pinkish inside called Gaura. Now the Gaura is not a native plant. Someone must have put seed out on purpose, there were too many plants to have simply escaped from a garden. Gaura is a delicate white flower with a touch of pink inside, giving the effect, when passing in a car, of more pink than white. Lovely, the three colors, Nature’s Bouquet! This is one of the advantageous of travel by road trip: so much to see in between places.
I walked to the grove where I had planted Mr. Tree. Several Monarchs greeted me, orange wings against blue sky. However I soon discovered that most of the monarchs had left their overwintering spot! They were no longer hanging, clustered together in big clumps in the tall Eucalyptus trees. They had gone, finding their way back home, wherever that may be. I wish I could follow them and catch up with them. Maybe they are on their way to your garden! That is, of course, if you live on the West Coast. These West Coast Monarchs stay west of the Sierra Nevada foothills, never meeting their East Coast cousins, and they can go as far north as Vancouver.
Mr. Tree, I am happy to report is hanging in there, so far undisturbed. His soil seemed dry, but he has a little new growth, so I think he will make it. I bet he is happy this morning to get his feet wet with this rain.
The Native Plant Preserve here at the campground is full of things blooming for the beginning of Spring! Sages, Willows, Gooseberry, Mtn Lilacs, CA poppies… I am sharing pictures of Spring with you from the Central California Coast. Enjoy! And don’t worry.. Spring is right around the corner~
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