{color, color everywhere…nature’s paint box does it again}

Sometime in February I started reading about how the moist El Niño weather pattern gently germinated the dormant wildflower seeds and for the first time in a long time the deserts were awash in color–a Super Bloom.

We still have plans to visit some of the desert areas, but with the delay I expect the height of the blooming period may already have passed. The weather has also moved from warm to hot, but local color is still hanging on, and it brings me joy.

DSC_3553Just beyond the perimeter of public access near the Huntington Botanical Children’s Garden I spied a hint of color peeking through the trees. I had to snake my way through some shrubbery to photograph this sea of poppies, but I was thrilled!

The orange flowers in the foreground are the California poppy. But everywhere I turn I’m discovering many shades of yellow, red, and orange.

I’ve enjoyed other garden surprises!

DSC_3520 DSC_3512

At one point I had so many hungry caterpillars I was quite panicked! It’s early in the season and my milkweed source isn’t yet abundant. These greedy little guys and their half-dozen friends were decimating my supply and while I tried to source more I was told by a nursery garden specialist that they were completely out of milkweed.

When I explained my concern that these guys were going to starve she quickly told me that “we’ve” done such a good job of creating a hospitable environment that this spring everyone with milkweed is finding themselves in the same predicament, and the suppliers aren’t able to handle the demand.

I finally found a few more plants and just about the time I proudly presented a fresh banquet to my little friends, the caterpillars disappeared. Or are hiding. Or the birds ate them. Or they formed their chrysalis and I just can’t identify it. I hope to have more opportunities to host these beautiful creatures.

And while waiting for butterflies I’m also waiting for figs to ripen.

This is a fairly young tree that appeared in our garden courtesy of the birds. This is our first year to see fruit and I go out every day to check on the progress. I hope the birds will not decide to take back their bounty!

I wonder what I’ll discover this week? I enjoy training my eye to find the unexpected flash of color, and if our patterns continue, May should bring some colorful birds to our feeders. Most springs we have a few visitors that feed quickly and move on. I hope I am home to see them!

Are you finding any spring surprises in your own home town? Maybe in your climate spring is just getting underway. If you’ve waited this long for its appearance, then I know you’re enjoying every inch of spring!

Someone else is enjoying his spring diet of freshly picked weeds.


Isn’t spring grand!