We have had a few cloudy and rainy days here lately. While this is great for our native plants, and will help produce what I hope will be a great wildflower season in the deserts later this spring, it does not make for great conditions for photography. Last year here in Southern California we only received around 3 inches of rain during our rainy season which is from November to April. Our native plants have a whole host of stratiges to survive our dry season which typically lasts from May to November. One of them is to go dormant. In the summer our hills turn brown, and the plant look dead, but many are just resting and waiting out the dry season. Our plants suffered during the year of little rain, and many of them never broke dormancy during the winter.This photo was taken in March of last year. The plants you see to the left should have been in full bloom, but with no rain they couldn't make enough food to produce flowers so they continued to rest through the spring. If it stops raining soon, I will go out today and take a photo in the same spot so you can see the difference a normal amount of rainfall can make.
Because of the rain showers this year, the plants on the Bolsa Chica mesa have broken dormancy, are greening up, and many are in flower. The coast sunflower Encelia has burst into bloom making the mesa point brilliant yellow. Bladderpod, monkey flower and buckwheat are also blooming.
Birding in a sea of blooming coast sunflower on the Bolsa Chica Mesa.