Prickly pear growing in the grass in front of coast live oak.
Prickly pear growing in the grass in front of coast live oak.

The Santa Margarita road follows the river, which shows up a rather hidden creek since there is not much water.  Apparently, the dryness isn’t as severe as a few years ago, but much of California is in some level of drought.  Again.  This seems to happen a lot and the state spends quite a bit of effort in managing the water systems to mitigate the rather variable climate, storing and moving water mainly from north to south.  This gives the area a lot of variety in the types of foliage growing naturally which makes for great textures in photography.

Black and white picture of coast live oak with lots of dead branches giving the tree lots of texture.
Coast live oak with lots of dead branches giving the tree lots of texture.

I saw many coast live oak covered in dead branches giving the trees a slightly ghost-like fabulous texture distinctive of wild, unpruned trees.  I don’t think too many folks would tolerate so many dead branches…. Slightly unkempt but the overall effect is slightly ethereal, like a large swirling, diaphanously layered tree.

Black and white picture of burned post laying in a clearing in the middle of coast live oaks.
Burned post laying in a clearing in the middle of coast live oaks.

This burned post was randomly in the middle of the clearing in the oak trees.  Nothing around it was burned, so it must have been dragged there after it was charred.

Black and white picture of a clearing in an oak grove.
Clearing in an oak grove.

This was just beyond the post, looking into the grove and the grouping of oaks with a view of the hills beyond that.  Most of the green under the trees was poison oak, one of the evilest of plants.

Prickly pear growing in grass near the road.
Prickly pear growing in grass near the road.

Looking evil also, the prickly pear cactus mixed with the grass and a variety of mostly spiky plants.  Beware stepping off the road!

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