It’s a drought. Here on Jan 5, 2012, it was approaching 60° F at an altitude of 2500' at 10:30 am. In other words, a nice October day in January.
The trails are bone-dry, the clay is hard-pack, not even tacky. Which is way, way nicer than sloppy splatty mud.
A few days earlier
The iPhone 4s can’t focus for crap, and is a huge letdown in quality— so much promise, such awful focusing and beyond-bad image quality under real-world demands. But it’s all I had to photograph this highly unusual cloud formation (for the SF bay area), which I stitched together from multiple frames.