Santa Barbara is awash with white blooms, the early spring explosions of the evergreen pear.
Memorial Day weekend marks the 28th I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival at the Old Mission in Santa Barbara. Artists converge on the plaza to create colorful and creative works of art in chalk.
Photo Credit: http://www.imadonnarifestival.com
Santa Barbara is full of singing birds this time of year. The House Finch has a cheery song and seems to prefer close association with us, often building its nest in hanging flower pots on our porch or in a vine twining over our front door. The male finch is easy to spot with a robust red on his face and chest, while the female – though often joining her mate in song – is a plainer striped brown bird.
A winter without rain. Drought is a word that clutches at the heart.
In many places, 2013 was the driest on record. Less than an inch fell in December 2012, and none in January, 2013. The last significant month of rain and snow was December 12, 2012. In most places, 2013 was the driest on record. Less than an inch fell in December 2012, and none in January, 2013. The last significant month of rain and snow was December 12, 2012.
No matter how many trips you've made to I Madonnari over the years, watching the tents go up on the Mission plaza is still one of the most exciting moments of Summer's coming. The crowds flood in on perfect near-summer days to watch artists work frantically, covered in sweat and chalk as they transform the Mission plaza's pavement into a canvas for community, art and charitable support. This is one of our favorite events in Santa Barbara for good reason.
What better way to announce the spring wildflower season than with the golden poppy. They seem to appear everywhere – out of cracks in the pavement, along roadsides. In some places they carpet entire hillsides. The Spaniards called them “Capo del Oro.” In our benign climate, poppies seem to bloom somewhere almost year-round, but reach their finest moment each spring.
Artist Patti Jacquemain's woodblock print featuring blooming California Poppies.
If you've looked up at the mountains from town lately, you may have noticed what looks like a light snowfall. How can that be? Every spring, the early-blooming ceanothus emerge, dusting our mountains with white blossoms and offering us the joy of a resplendent spring without the miseries of snow and sleet – Santa Barbara style.