I started the day walking a 5K in Santa Cruz with our hostess, Farhana. Unfortunately, I left the SD card for the camera in the computer, and don't have a way to transfer the photos from the phone to the blog (there are probably half-a dozen ways to do that, but I don't know them yet).This is Farhana's photo (hope it shows up when the blog is published).
The weather was excellent -- cool and overcast. Better yet, during the last mile, a mist settled upon all 6,000+ women (from age one month to about 80) doing the race, and within the next hour or two developed into real rain making puddles in the street and forcing the use of windshield wipers.
For the moment, the parts of California that we've seen don't look like the middle of a serious drought. We drove from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara along Highway 101 though the Salinas Valley -- hours of vineyards, green fields, and waving grasses along the roadsides. Fields of yellow mustard provided the color, with blue skies and white clouds much of the way.
We are visiting cousin Paul and his wife Sandy who live in the Santa Barbara foothills, up near the state park areas at the top. Their home survived the fire a few years back (thanks to extraordinary preparation), and the demise of most of the plants gave them a chance to re-plant with mostly native, drought and fire-resistant shrubs and flowers.