California is usually thought to be a crowded state, teeming with people and cities. However, there are surprising stretches of open land, even close to major cities. Only a few miles from Sacramento, there are areas that seem devoid of people, like some patch of remote Idaho or Wyoming plopped down right in the middle of the golden state.
Today two of the kids and I took a drive on a road not far from our house, but in feel and tone it seemed worlds away. First up is a view of the road after it turned to dirt and took off across the arid plains. Not a soul to see, except ourselves.
This sign pointed the way to the Gill Ranch, four miles down the path. We took the other fork.
This wasp was all by himself, but busy fanning his wings for some unfathomable reason.
Here, as we approach the foothills in the distance, there is a corral and loading chute, but not a single steer in view. Perhaps they loaded them up at the end of spring, when the grass turned brown, and took them to the high meadows.
No matter how brown or dry, you can always find a bloom. This one is a yellow thistle, pretty but lethal to a bike tire or bare foot.