Spring into Summer

Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii) in Buckwheat and California Sagebrush, Rancho Bernardo, California. June 2020.

At the end of May and into June, I’m reminded how much beauty is in our Southern California landscapes still, even as summer approaches. I’m growing increasingly fond of the hues and sights of this transition from spring into summer.

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Monsoon in the Laguna Mountains

Cloudburst over June Wash seen from the Pacific Crest at Garnet Peak, Laguna Mountains, California. July 2019.

Last week a couple of my appointments all shifted forward by a day so I “took the day off” and after running some errands in the morning drove up into the Laguna Mountains, hoping for some fine weather and drama under an influx of monsoonal moisture – which is a warrant for towering clouds, thunderstorms and cloudbursts during the summer months here in Southern California.

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A Moonlight Night

Three Pines, Mars and Moon, Pine Creek Road, Laguna Mountains, California.

Summer nights. Mild temperatures, clear skies – and a monthly photo quest from the photo club that called for night photos. It was as if the stars had “magically” aligned to get us out there. ;-) Shuwen and I met our good friend Peter in Julian for dinner before cruising those back country roads, to immerse ourselves in night and moonlight.

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Unexpected Flower Bliss at Laguna Meadows

A beautiful patch of wildflowers at upper Laguna Meadows, San Diego, California. May 2018.

If there’s anything that I’ve learned about wildflower blooms in California by now, it’s that it isn’t really the amount of rain that counts most – but its timing. We received only about one third of the average rainfall during our “wet season” 2017/2018 (and with the average being only 10 inches or ~250mm, it isn’t much to begin with anyway). But as I mentioned previously, some wildflowers are doing just fine – and even seem to put on a better display than in wetter years.

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A Quick Escape (1)

Pinyon Pine in fog on a rocky slope, Pinyon Point, Laguna Mountains, California, September 2017.

As I mentioned in my August summary, we’ve had the worst heatwave of the year (so far… keeping my fingers crossed) over the weekend. The night from Saturday to Sunday was particularly annoying because temperatures actually increased over night (down-slope effect of offshore wind). At San Diego’s airport, which is really close to the ocean but somewhat sheltered in the bay of San Diego, the temperature was 91°F/33°C at 1:30am, in the middle of the night. For San Diego, that’s extraordinary.

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Partial Solar Eclipse 2017 in San Diego

Partial Solar Eclipse at peak (58%) coverage in San Diego County, California. August 2017.

I guess I’m lucky to experience the third solar eclipse in my lifetime now. I lived in Germany in the path of a total solar eclipse in 1999 and in Southern California in the path of a partial annular solar eclipse in May 2012 (my photos) – and now the solar eclipse of August 2017. While not in the path of totality, I more or less spontaneously decided to still go and enjoy whatever would be visible of this solar eclipse in Southern California.

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