The rains have finally gone in Southern California

The weather is now beautiful, sunny, about 75. Malo, our turtle who lives in a little pond in the backyard is happily sunning himself. He’s got a 10″ carapace and is a Red Slider turtle. They get their name from the red bands on the face and their propensity for sliding into the water when startled.

He likes carrots, probably because they remind him of fingers. We’ve nicknamed him Malo the Flesh-eating Turtle from Hell. All turtles bite. Hard. With a beaked jaw. Sue discovered this the hard way.

On a hike Sunday in the 40,000 acre Topanga State Park, up a steep ridge line on a seldom-used trail, I discovered a large patch of the magical white sage. Native Americans used it in ceremonies. Dry the leaf, burn it, and the smell is quite amazing. It’s impossible to find along major trails in Southern California because everyone picks it. But it grows fine in inaccessible places known only to a few. To find so much this early must be because of the extraordinary amounts of rain.

A friend who lives in Topanga tells me rain gauges there recorded a whopping 55-65 inches of rain during this past rainy season. He also says that it was a 500 year rain in the deserts, and Native Americans are saying they are seeing plants bloom that haven’t been seen for generations, that they knew of only from ancestral legend.

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