Dogs don't care if you have an upper respiratory infection. They need to be walked. To be spared the indignity of having to do their business in their own yard.
So on this cold, cold morning--coffee in hand, and coughing all the while--Angel and I head out. We notice the Scotch Broom is blooming (the dog in the background in the photo above is one of our neighbor's dogs).
Scotch Broom is an invasive species that is becoming quite the problem in northern California. Yet another "ornamental" gone berserk (and an argument against unregulated global trade--especially when it comes to ornamental plants and exotic animals). Briefly, it flowers--and can be quite fetching to the eye; but after the bloom you are left with a thick stand of quick growing, hard to kill, thick stands of plants that crowd out the other native flora. After the Scotch Broom gets established, only a good burn takes them out.