Coastal sage-scrub, perhaps the least impressive-looking natural vegetation type in the county in summer and fall, brightens up in vivid shades of green with every wet season, usually starting in November or December. Within two weeks of the first substantial rainfall, the dry-as-dust, summer-dormant branches of California sagebrush, black sage, and other low-growing plants start sending out new aromatic leaves. Their spicy fragrances float on breezes moving up the coastal canyons and across hillsides untouched by the bulldozer's blade. The 2.9-mile, looping interpretive trail around Lake Poway gives visitors a chance to get acquainted with sage-scrub and three other vegetation types growing near the lake shore. The trail and the recreation area at the lake are open seven days a week, sunrise to sunset, at the east end of Lake Poway Road. Call (858) 679-5466.