John & Anne Wiley

2016/03/17

Flower Flight

After years of epic drought our mountains have recently been kissed by a few good rains, and what looked completely dead a couple of months ago is now blushing with color.

2066 West of Fig

2066 West of Fig

The hills West of Figueroa Mountain at the northern edge of Santa Ynez Valley looked promising as we approached. Here’s what we saw closer to that far slice of poppies on the slope of the top-right pic above.

2070 Slope Slice

2070 Slope Poppy Slice

Other years before the drought we’d sometimes see lupines so thick they painted the hills brilliant shades of blue. Still, this is the first time they’ve been thick enough to show blue hints from the air as they frolic in the sun alongside poppies dazzling the wizened oaks.

2093 Frolic of Lupines

2093 Frolic of Lupines

In case you’d like to try finding these patches on the dirt roads, here’s come context looking East toward Figueroa Mountain.

2076 Flowers to Fig

2076 Flowers to Fig

Nearby we also passed what’s left of the late Michael Jackson’s fanciful Neverland Ranch. The name is still tended in flowers and butterflies between foundations of two amusement rides that had been there some years ago. The train tracks bottom-left bring back an impression of the whimsical place he built.

2060 Michael's Neverland Rides

2060 Michael’s Neverland Rides

The iconic train station near the mansions and lake is looking even better, helped by the brilliant green brought forth by the rain. Does the lonely sound of a steam engine whistle ever echo across the narrow valley between these two floral displays?

2033 Neverland Train Station

2033 Neverland Train Station

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