The story of a dry winter is told over the months and years to come, in myriad ways.
One of the most visual chapters is told through the appearance -- or lack of showing -- of our state's famous wildflowers, those buds that depend not on sprinklers or hoses but rather the sprinkler system of the sky.
So fans of our state and national parks have been keeping a keen eye on the usual meadows and valleys where colorful petals make a showing around March. And one spot under bud-hopeful surveillance? The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster.
Call it a desire to see our symbolic state flower thrive, year after year, or the want to walk among the blanket of orange that pops up from time to time, versus patchy spriglets of flowers. But people love the poppies, if not above all other wildflowers, well, pretty dang close.
So how fare the wee and wowza-hued in these droughty days? The heart of winter was nearly rain-less, it is true, but that late February wet fest could have served as a poppy-goosing engine. (Fingers crossed.)
Wherever our hopeful predictions may rest on the poppy-watch meter, you can follow sightings here. As of March 14, "there are patches of a few poppy plants along the trails with several flowers." Don't lose hope yet, poppyists; "Mid-April may be our peak" reads the official site for the reserve.
Come on, poppies, push on through. The story of our state flower besting a less-than-optimal circumstance, like a water-light winter, could be analogous to the pluck of California's can-do optimism.
Let's see some orange out in them thar hills in the weeks to come. Deal, poppies?