Rattlesnake in Tecolote Canyon
Blue-Blossoming Jacaranda Trees have already produced a first wave of color along the streets of San Diego. By early or mid-May, warm weather permitting, this Brazilian import could put on a dazzling show. The larger jacarandas, which in full bloom are leafless, or nearly so, display myriads of delicate, trumpet-shaped blossoms — a lavender haze as seen from afar. Jacarandas are commonly used as landscaping in parks and on most college campuses. Nice rows of jacarandas grace Ash Street downtown, Rosecrans Boulevard in Point Loma, 25th Street in Golden Hill, and Mission Village Drive above Qualcomm Stadium.
The Tall Locust Trees planted years ago along Julian’s narrow streets are once again brightening this backcountry (and former gold-rush) town with blossoms of white, pink, and lavender. Introduced into the West by 19th-century emigrants, locust trees have become almost a trademark of California’s gold country, from the Mother Lode south to Julian.
Snakes, encouraged by recent warm temperatures, have already emerged from burrows and rock crevices to hunt for prey throughout the county’s lower-elevation hillsides and canyons. Gopher snakes, garter snakes, king snakes, rosy boas (all harmless), and three varieties of rattlesnakes — red diamond, speckled, and Southern Pacific rattlesnakes (all poisonous) — have been sighted. Close encounters with rattlesnakes are not uncommon wherever residential properties abut undeveloped land — a common situation throughout San Diego County.