Almond trees in bloom.
No, these aren't pictures from this spring, not yet. These are from last year, just before the rain came and spoiled so much of the crop.
This part of California is largely about almond orchards. If you can find a high spot (like the highway overpass, seeing as how we just don't have any hills nearby) and look out over the farmland, in mid-February you would see an ocean of white and pinkish blossoms.
Right now the farmers are spraying the trees with what I think is fungicide, preparing for the blooming season. Bee boxes are being set already! You can see bee boxes in the second picture, neatly nestled up to the trees. I wish all the farmers would do that with their bees. More often, though, they have them just at the side of the orchard roads, which means that we have to ride our horses past them. Zooming worker bees make me nervous, though I've never been stung while riding.
So why am I jumping the gun about almond blossoms? It's easy -- I can't wait to see them, because when the blossoms are exploding, we'll have no more icy cold days. Chilly maybe, but definitely tolerable. Okay, I'm indulging in a photo-fantasy, so sue me.