This is the land of sun and surf,
A golden destination for outdoor buffs.
Having by now spent a first cycle of seasons
In southern California, I can attest to
The draw of the beach and the waves,
To the lure of canyons and hillsides.
What I hadn’t expected as much
Was a sort of lull between the cooler
Months and the dry warmth of high summer.
“Gray May and June gloom,” the locals intone.
Some mornings, there is fog, or low cloud.
It can take several hours before the sun peeks through.
Under the overcast, I cast my lot walking along
Nearby pathways and streets.
Across the sidewalks are narrow slicks of
Snail trails, sometimes even the snails themselves.
Gardeners tell me the shelled creatures are pests.
I haven’t noticed them eating my plants, not yet.
Still, their morning presence has become for
Me another marker of southern California life: