November is the beginning of the rainy season in Los Angeles, a city wedged between the ocean and the mountains that receives only 15 inches of rain a year. In my five weeks of residence here, I’ve experienced only two “wet” days, and only one qualified as an actual rainy day. Drought is a serious problem here, so any moisture is cause for celebration. As the weather dips into the 50s, people come out in their winter finery—boots, wool hats, sweaters, and even umbrellas! It’s hard not to look like a tourist in short sleeves and sandals. Coming from the year-round humidity of the DC suburbs, it’s also hard to adjust to this desert climate. My skin is parched, my nails are brittle, and I’m thirsty all the time. But as I wander with my camera, I can appreciate how well the vegetation has adapted to these harsh conditions—succulents and cactuses thrive in low-maintenance gardens in front of many houses. Their unusual textures and intricate configurations attract my lens like pollen attracts a bee. After the rain, all the plants perk up, and its a pleasure to see the difference a little wet nourishment makes to the landscape.