Believe me, I know how lucky I am to live here!
Everyday, when I take the dogs, Rinky Blue & Sake Blue, for a walk I get to do so in the Santa Monica Mountains; a range of moderate height which stretches along the coast from the Hollywood Hills to Point Magu separating the San Fernando Valley from Malibu. Although enclosed by such densely populated areas, the mountains can be rugged & wild, home to an incredible variety of wildlife & rare plant species, some seen nowhere else.
In an extended period of drought, the Southern California landscape increasingly wears shades of yellow & brown for most of the year. The winter of 2016/17 brought a welcome 19" of rain, 4 1/4" above average, & the landscape responded: grass seems to sprout in front of your eyes, shrubs that had looked dead were alive again & the valiant California Oak washed of its cloak of dust displayed bright new leaves.
For a sadly short time the hillsides were speckled with the delicate flowers of sage, buckthorn & phlox among others, plus banks of lupine. To my dogs frustration, I was hooked on taking photo after photo of these fleeting beauties.
Their shades of lavender, blues & soft pinks becoming the inspiration for my "After The Rains" collection - a token of my gratitude for living here.