Our crazy El Niño weather. We had a long period of rain — much needed — but the temperatures were frigid by California standards. Then, all of a sudden at the start of February, it warmed up steadily until we were enjoying temps in the upper Seventies. The result: an early false Spring. At least I’m hoping it’s false as we desperately need more Winter — read RAIN — to help us claw our way out of our record drought. I hear the Mohave Desert and Death Valley are about to enjoy a Super Bloom, a flowering of wildflowers in numbers and sizes not seen in decades. I can’t say we are seeing the same thing in Sonoma, but the Rancho’s traditional early bloomers are out in force. And since we’ve spent the last several years planting and encouraging California native plants, we’ve got a lot to show all of a sudden.
Let me show you:
But amidst all this sylvan loveliness there are uglier things rearing up their heads: invasive weeds like Star Thistle and Broom. We wage a never ending war with these — and I think we’re winning. Every year we kill off more and the Natives move in to defend their turf. But it’s a tough battle.