Friday, March 30, 2007

Spring on Figueroa Mountain & the Central Coast

Spring IS here, as I discovered yesterday on a trip up the coast to Figueroa Mountain. This is one of the leading places for wildflowers north of Santa Barbara but I went with no expectations, due the lack of rain over this recent winter.

However, they must have gotten considerably more rain in this area which is actually the point where southern California melds into what's known as the central coast.

As soon as one passed through Santa Barbara the landscape began to green up. The 101 freeway becomes the old Pacific Coast highway at some point and becomes a coastal route up to Big Sur. I've seen the coasts of Europe but I must say this coastal route along the Pacific is one of the most beautiful and awesome (in the true sense of the word) anywhere.

And it's interesting to see how this characteristic central coastal landscape actually begins as soon as you get north of Santa Barbara with ocean views of surf, cliffs, and bluffs on one side, and vistas of rolling green fields and hills and some rugged red rock peaks on the other.

As I noted, we did have more rain - rather unexpected this time of year - on the central coast, so perhaps the green season will - also unexpectedly - last a bit longer in this otherwise pervasively dry season.

And if you look close on the way up you can even see fields with llamas (or are they alpacas?)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring Is Here (I Hear)

Well it's springtime in California.

It's been a very dry year so far, and so it does not promise to be a very good wildflower season. However, driving up PCH last week the magnificent sculptured hills and canyons north of Santa Barbara were green and spattered with purple lupine and the occasional golden California poppy.

I also noticed that a certain field seems to be bristling with the shoots of thistle plants which, when they were in bloom last summer, very much resembled a kind of huge lavender blue thistle I had previously seen only in Italy, around Siena in Tuscany.

I was of course thrilled to see one of the hills hear covered with with this beautiful shade of blue last year, though I have no idea how the plants got there.

Calfiornia is full of surprising and varied plantlife, at least those areas not so far plowed over for Development. Developers are working at getting at this unspoiled area, one of the last around this part of the coast, but so far they've been kept at bay.

May it be ever so (but I doubt it).

Anyway, it's SuperBeautiful this time of year, and I want to go back soon as Californians know the green will not last. (But then, what does?)

I might add that it, the coast, only gets more thrilling as you drive north towards Big Sur.

Everybody's bloggin'

So why can't I???? (Since nobody's truckin' anymore.....)

This is my first attempt at a blog.

Anyway, I hope to meditate on various aspects of living in the great state of California, which is a bit like living on another planet.

("Planet, schmanet, Janet....")

Also issues of music and film and how bad and supremely boring both (and everything else) have gotten over the past few decades.

(Has ANYthing interesting happened since the '60s????)

I also hope to post some photos of Out Here and Over There, meaning Europe which I still miss a lot in spite of the fact California is about as close to a European ambiance as you can get in the States (except maybe for Savannah).

As I mention I have something of an Identity Crisis: am I a composer who writes, or a writer who composes? (And does it matter, as everyone else Out Here seems to have the same problem). Anyway, it's fun trying to work it out.

More anon.