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?)

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