18 CATALINA EXPRESS MAGAZINE 2019–2020 Springtime W ith its picturesque half-moon bay and hillside architecture, Catalina Island is a dead ringer for the Greek Isles. And like Greece, it’s known for having a dry, warm climate. But winter 2019 proved to be different here. Sporadic rains fell often, awakening plant life that often lies dormant. By February, the Island had turned lush and green. That bodes well for spring and summer visitors, according to the Catalina Island Conservancy. “As a result of the abundant rains,” says Suzy Gardner, the environmental organization’s chief development officer, “visitors can expect to find: • A wildflower superbloom; • Lush, green landscapes that resemble Ireland; • Natural water basins around the Island that are atypically full; people may see water in areas they never have before; • Wildlife will be more openly feeding because of new plant growth fueled by the rains, making it more likely that visitors will spot foxes, bison and other animals more readily • Sightings of hummingbirds, bats and butterflies that will also be feeding more openly. Island leaders are excited about the rains, too, which will lessen the Island’s frequent water shortages.” Avalon Mayor, Ann Marshall, called the newly-lush Island scenery, “absolutely beautiful.” In addition, “the reservoir levels are going up. It’s great to be able to look to the future and not have to worry so much about water rationing.” As for Cathy Miller of the Chamber of Commerce, the Island’s transformation is a call to get outside and go exploring. “I can’t wait to get into the interior and see it,” said Miller, the Chamber’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “It’s so wonderful. It looks completely different than when we were in the drought.” “It went from a desert island to a tropical island.” Springtime ON CATALINA Winter rains bring spring blooms and green hillsides to the Island First store on Crescent Ave • 562-361-7843 Redeem this offer and receive a color-changing tote bag with the purchase of a color-changingT-shirt! Not valid with other discounts or promotions.Good while supplies last.Design may vary. OFFER EXPIRES 4/30/2020 Without Sun With Sun GINA DARTT