Where I grew up in Maine, early spring was cold and stormy, and is better known as "mud season." In the towns and cities, it was the time when the snow had mostly melted, revealing all the half-frozen dog poo that was conveniently buried for the winter. Oh, Mainers love their dogs. And their freedom to not have to clean up after them. Shudder. Not a pleasant time of year. Still, you knew that soon you'd have a few weeks of flowers and birdsong.
In sunny Los Angeles, spring is hardly a blink before the scorching heat of summer dries everything out to a uniform golden-brown.
But in the southern California mountains, spring is a particular kind of conundrum. Not so cold as a New England Spring, but still prone to the occasional snowstorm. Not so dry as a Los Angeles spring, but still with the same sense of impending parched earth. To see the riot of sunny daffodils in the settled areas and the brilliant violet of wild Lunaria on the hillsides...to walk under white clouds of dogwood as the cold mists billow down the mountain streets...it's beautiful and otherworldly. Faintly sad, as though you can feel how, at any moment, the fragile wildlife could be smothered by a snowfall, or even ravaged by an early wildfire. Anything could happen. this is a place where nature is still very, very wild, and man lives only on her good graces. What a wonderful reminder.