Antelope Valley's fields of orange

Time the 3.5-hour drive north in the spring for spectacular waves of color.

Officially known as the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve, the rolling hills of the southern Mojave, 15 miles west of Lancaster, explode with color each spring as 1,745 acres of wildflowers end their hibernation and burst ...

Two more minutes of daylight per day

February beckons the sun north; brings wild surf, bloom to ornamental pear trees

The Sun Strides North in February, swinging higher across the sky each successive day. Already quite noticeable is the change in the time of sunset, currently almost a minute later per day, and sunrise, currently ...

Mission Bay marsh opens the chain-link fence — for a day

Love your wetlands on February 4

What is now the Kendall-Frost marsh reserve at the northeast corner of Mission Bay Park was acquired by the city and set aside in 1965. Since then, the De Anza Cove trailer park, Campland on ...

Groundhog Day meaningless in San Diego

Spend the day enjoying swollen county waterfalls

Groundhog Day arrives Thursday, 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, ...

San Diego winters bring yellow acacias, frost-bite, and a low-lying Jupiter

Avocados, poinsettias, and laurel sumacs suffer the cold

Acacias, festooned with myriads of fluffy yellow blossoms, are brightening streetsides, freeway embankments, and backyard gardens throughout the San Diego area this month. Although many acacias are native to subtropical regions, nearly all we see ...

Winter Solstice triggers poinsettias

Also brings dark and gloomy nights

Poinsettias, a favorite of backyard gardeners, are now exhibiting their scarlet, petal-like bracts, just in time for the holidays. The onset of 14-hour-long nights triggers their behavior: In San Diego this condition is met just ...

Bird, plane, Santa? No, it's Jupiter

Aim your sights on the sky this month

Jupiter, the “king” of the planets, appears high in the southern sky after sunset. Note its creamy yellow-white color and unblinking brightness. Aim a small telescope at Jupiter anytime during the next few weeks to ...

Stroll under sweetgums

and take in the view from on high

Liquidambar Trees, or sweet gums, the colorfully deciduous trees gracing front yards, parks, and campuses throughout the San Diego area, have been putting on a good show for the past month. The maplelike leaves of ...

Seek out higher elevations for warmer temps

Also seek out Fremont Cottonwoods

Low-Lying Temperature Inversions commonly occur in San Diego as winter approaches. During the night and morning hours, a meteorological condition often occurs in which the “normal” higher-you-go-the colder-it-gets trend is reversed. At such times cold ...

Dog days in Havasu Canyon

This hike to blue-green waterfalls is just outside Grand Canyon Nat'l Park.

Adjoining the Grand Canyon on the south side of the Colorado River is a tributary canyon called Havasu, which, in the language of the Havasupai people who live there, means “blue-green water.” Havasu Canyon is ...

Autumn color, a new moon, and a conjunction

Venus and Saturn get close this weekend

Conjunction between Venus and Saturn — Spot the beautiful sight of Venus and Saturn's close encounter on Saturday, October 29, as they pass within less than three degrees of each other after sunset in an ...

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