A friend was visiting this weekend and we decided to take a drive to Lake Berryessa, about 45 minutes west of here. The route is very scenic, especially in the spring. Thanks to the series of rain storms we had in recent weeks, the hills were as green as I had expected. Combined with a blue sky and puffy white clouds, this made for picture-postcard perfect scenery. (People used to the lushness of, say, Ireland will laugh, but we can take what we get in our Mediterranean climate.)
The biggest surprise of the day was the discovery of a meadow full of California poppies. It is rare to came across large expanses of poppies. I don’t know if this meadow is natural or man-made, but it is adjacent to (and possibly part of) a county park.
It was such a joy walking among the poppies. I was careful not to step on any.
The variety of grasses was interesting too.
This is what vast tracts of California must have looked like before it was transformed by ever larger numbers of people.
There are many different explanations for our state’s motto, “The Golden State.” My personal favorite: California was named “The Golden State” because of the poppies that blanketed the hillsides and valleys in the spring.