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Wild lilac always comes back

January's full moon

Beautiful San Diego Mountain Lilac (ceanothus cyaneus), on the right (east) fork of the Rattlesnake Canyon trail, in Poway. March 24, 2018
Beautiful San Diego Mountain Lilac (ceanothus cyaneus), on the right (east) fork of the Rattlesnake Canyon trail, in Poway. March 24, 2018

Ceanothus, or wild lilac, a white or blue-blossoming native plant, is set to bloom by late January or early February. Ceanothus is common wherever native sage-scrub and chaparral vegetation grows, from the bluffs of Torrey Pines, to the edge of the Anza-Borrego Desert. Often much of the ceanothus cover is burnt off in San Diego's foothills — but the plant is resilient against periodic wildfires and will eventually return

January’s Full Moon rises majestically from the darkened east horizon on Thursday, the 28th.

Groundhog Day comes Tuesday, February 2. If the sleepy woodchuck sees his shadow, so the story goes, he'll hole up for another six weeks of winter cold. None of this means much in San Diego, where a February warm spell can easily push the thermometer into the 80s.

Orion is the brightest of the 88 constellations.

Orion is now high in the southeast right after dark, and he stands highest due south around 9 p.m. Orion is the brightest of the 88 constellations, but his main pattern is surprisingly small compared to some of his dimmer neighbors. The biggest of these is Eridanus the River to his west, enormous but hard to trace. Dimmer Fornax the Furnace, to Eridanus's lower right, is almost as big as Orion! Even the main pattern of Lepus, the Hare cowering under Orion's feet, isn't much smaller than he is.

Mercury is having an excellent apparition in evening twilight. Mercury is often called "elusive," but this week it's easy. Look for it low in the west-southwest about 40 or 50 minutes after sunset. In addition to being nearly as high as it ever gets in twilight (for skywatchers at mid-northern latitudes), Mercury is also brighter than usual, about magnitude –0.5 all week.

The above comes from the Outdoors listings in the Reader compiled by Jerry Schad, author of Afoot & Afield in San Diego County. Schad died in 2011. Planet information from SkyandTelescope.org.

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Beautiful San Diego Mountain Lilac (ceanothus cyaneus), on the right (east) fork of the Rattlesnake Canyon trail, in Poway. March 24, 2018
Beautiful San Diego Mountain Lilac (ceanothus cyaneus), on the right (east) fork of the Rattlesnake Canyon trail, in Poway. March 24, 2018

Ceanothus, or wild lilac, a white or blue-blossoming native plant, is set to bloom by late January or early February. Ceanothus is common wherever native sage-scrub and chaparral vegetation grows, from the bluffs of Torrey Pines, to the edge of the Anza-Borrego Desert. Often much of the ceanothus cover is burnt off in San Diego's foothills — but the plant is resilient against periodic wildfires and will eventually return

January’s Full Moon rises majestically from the darkened east horizon on Thursday, the 28th.

Groundhog Day comes Tuesday, February 2. If the sleepy woodchuck sees his shadow, so the story goes, he'll hole up for another six weeks of winter cold. None of this means much in San Diego, where a February warm spell can easily push the thermometer into the 80s.

Orion is the brightest of the 88 constellations.

Orion is now high in the southeast right after dark, and he stands highest due south around 9 p.m. Orion is the brightest of the 88 constellations, but his main pattern is surprisingly small compared to some of his dimmer neighbors. The biggest of these is Eridanus the River to his west, enormous but hard to trace. Dimmer Fornax the Furnace, to Eridanus's lower right, is almost as big as Orion! Even the main pattern of Lepus, the Hare cowering under Orion's feet, isn't much smaller than he is.

Mercury is having an excellent apparition in evening twilight. Mercury is often called "elusive," but this week it's easy. Look for it low in the west-southwest about 40 or 50 minutes after sunset. In addition to being nearly as high as it ever gets in twilight (for skywatchers at mid-northern latitudes), Mercury is also brighter than usual, about magnitude –0.5 all week.

The above comes from the Outdoors listings in the Reader compiled by Jerry Schad, author of Afoot & Afield in San Diego County. Schad died in 2011. Planet information from SkyandTelescope.org.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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