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California’s stunning spring beauty

A couple of issues back I talked about how difficult it is to be a Californian with the political ineptness and lack of leadership in the Golden State.

However, 2010 is a good year to live in California. It has been a long time since it has been as beautiful as it is this spring.

In late March my wife and I drove to the coast from Fresno via Highway 41 over the coast range. I could hardly keep my eyes on the road.

The hills were endless carpets of green, accented brilliantly with large patches of mustard, lupine and California poppies.

It has been a long time since I have seen large herds of stocker cattle grazing on a sea of foothill grass. Black, white and red calves stood out by the thousands against the green backdrop.

Coming back from the coast, there was a patch of poppies atop a small hill alongside the highway, just as we started up the coast range from Cholome. A ray of sunshine was beaming down on the top of that hill, adding a chamber of commerce asterisk to the surrounding beauty.

Blooming almond and fruit trees are always a treat in the spring. They looked especially lovely this spring with a backdrop of mountain snows and foothill green.

Driving east on the streets of Fresno this spring has been an almost daily treat. The series of winter storms has kept the air clear and the top of the windshield is the snow-capped Sierra Nevada at every turn.

One late afternoon, driving east of Clovis toward the foothills along Highway 180, it was spectacular. As the mountains drew closer, it was a feeling like being surrounded by the scenery. The panorama included a snow-capped Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the continental U.S. That has been a rare site from the Fresno area in recent years.

A photo of a freshly covered, snowy Yosemite Valley in the Fresno Bee recently was another example of what California looks like this spring.

I can only imagine how beautiful it is in Northern California with majestic views of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen.

California’s 840-mile coastline of gentle beaches, magnificent cliffs and vistas never disappoints. Big Sur is an incredible drive. The interior this spring almost matches that coastline for scenery.

It may be hard to be a Californian amidst the political ineptitude, but it is visually among the most beautiful places on earth to live, particularly this spring.

Of course, water experts are saying the above average amount of rain and snow that is making the state gorgeous does not mean the end of the drought.

Most understand that, but the enveloping green and the constant view of the mountain snows give us all hope that 2010 can only be better than the past couple of years.

Take some time this spring to see it for yourself. It will be a refreshing respite from everything discouraging that is swirling around California’s 37 million residents.

It may be difficult to be a Californian, but it is definitely easy to live in this beautiful state this year.

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