Even as California continues to experience a drought, and the region is facing water shortages, this winter-spring has brought just enough precipitation to allow the wildflowers to blanket the Sierra Nevada foothills in a riot of colors the like of which I haven't seen in the five years I've lived in this area. My colleagues and students have noticed an increasing grumpiness in me these past couple of weeks, and part of the reason is that I really want to be out there in them thar hills traipsing through the wildflowers, not cooped up in the concrete of the Science building (where, to be fair, I have had quite a few glimpses of snowclad hills this spring - but that only makes being in the office worse!)! Why do we have spring break in April in this goshdarned valley, when actual spring has long since passed us by? I know, I know, it probably has to do with a certain religious holiday in early April - but that's a subject of a rant I'll save for another day. For now, this Friday, let me share some of my attempts to capture the fleeting beauty of spring in the Sierra foothills onto a few digital images. I've managed finally to create a Flickr album to collect these images, including this one of a dewy Baby Blue Eyes and some Goldfields (I think) apparently feeling too shy and/or sleepy to face the morning sun (last tuesday) after the equinox weekend's cold snap:
Click on the picture to access the entire gallery, which I hope will provide you some relief even at your computer desk. Especially if you've been following the circus of the Texas State Board of Education this week as they've been watering down (to put it mildly) their standards on how science is to be taught in that state. (And please do let me know if I've made any errors of identification - floral taxonomy is not my forte!).
Happy Spring, wherever you are! And I also wish you total blissful darkness - or romantic candlelight - this saturday when we celebrate Earth Hour!