Surfing the Wild Mustard
It appears as a rising swell in the near distance, rushing towards me, though I have already been enveloped by the last passing surge. A frothy foam of yellow, charged with the busy hunger of bees, blurs as I pass. It flows from crest to valley, and would quietly overwhelm me as it has overwhelmed this passage, turning it into a narrow ribbon, a parting through which I skim. But I won't let it and race down the slope, picking up speed as the path narrows to shut me in, entrapped. At the last second, just as the tide would crash down around me, I burst clear of the funnel. Flecks of the foam fly free in the passing wake, ripped from the crushing wave by hand, wheels, pedals; others drip from my bike and will continue to fall away for the remainder of the ride. One small drop lodged near Herbert, a comfort of color will remain to the end, a reminder of a brief adventure surfing the wild mustard of the inland sea.
Like all of Southern California's Springtime displays of color, the mustard is dependent on winter rains. Some years are good, others less so. I would say this years crop is somewhere in the middle - the rains of early January began the propagation, so there are some great swaths of yellow across entire hillsides. At the same time, the extended dry period since then, seems to have limited the robustness of growth - not as thick, not as high, and maybe as good as the display will get. Ride over to Bonelli and check it out.