Three of us were driving across the Dumbarton Bridge from the Peninsula to the East Bay. As we came up over the height of the bridge, my eyes were drawn to the golden-brown Hayward Hills.

“The hills are brown,” I said, and sighed. “Summer’s really here.” I don’t like

“They were still green just a few weeks ago,” said Marsha.

“Well, our last rain was in, what, late May?” I said.

“The rains ended unusually late this year,” said Marsha, who grew up in California.

Julian sat and listened to us. He has just moved here from western Massachusetts, where it remains green all summer long.