The image at the top is from Google World. It’s an approximation of what you’d see looking toward Irvine from a perch just offshore. The mountains have been exaggerated to allow more of the land contour to be seen.
Most of Southern Orange County is a coastal plain. It’s flat, but it slopes upward toward the mountains. By the time you get to our house, you’re over 400 feet in elevation.
The slope is so gentle I never noticed it until I looked at topo maps. We’re 11 miles from the ocean. 400 feet is not a big deal. But if you rolled a marble down the 133, it might make it to Laguna.
This time of year there’s virtually no natural above ground running water in SoCal. The dry season began last spring. In Irvine get our water from very deep wells and via aqueduct from Central California, hundreds of miles away. Rain here isn’t as critical as snow in the Sierras.
With little moisture, dust becomes a problem. We’re surrounded by construction and farming. There’s no way to stop it. Cleaning always means dusting. Never ending.
Land here is very valuable for homes. That’s odd considering how much of it there is. A large portion of the west is protected from development. That reduces what’s available.
Until those homes are built, the land is planted. Orange County’s big cash crop is strawberries. There are fields of ripening strawberries we pass nearly every day. It’s still strawberry season.
I have seen the observations from back in Connecticut today. The angst I suffered on days like this is not forgotten.