I noticed on my home yesterday that the first daffodils of the year were in bloom:

They looked so bright and sunny against the dark tree trunk and the cloudy sky, a reminder that our short California winter is moving slowly toward the spring, with the solstice a month behind us.

This also means that we are running out of rainy season. We started off pretty well, and have gotten about 29 inches so far, but it’s been a while since we had any rain, and I don’t see any in the immediate forecast:

It’s beautiful, but also a little concerning, since the less rain we get now, the more our wildfire risk is later.

Arriving home, I noticed that the orchid on the back porch has a flower spike:

It looks like this when it blooms:

It used to always bloom in February, but over the last few years, it can be as late as March, no matter when the buds appear. Whenever it decides to bloom, it’s something to look forward to, and a sign that spring is on its way.

A YEAR AGO: Getting to work was a bit of an adventure.

FIVE YEARS AGO: Enjoying the fine wood-working show.

TEN YEARS AGO: Power outages and other things.

TWENTY YEARS AGO: Yup, I’m lazy. What can I say? Idle rich really would have been my perfect career.