Swarms have led to problems at the Lake Elsinore spectacle, but worry not: Carpets of gold are showing in Carrizo monument east of San Luis Obispo. Closer to home: wildflowers in Griffith Park, Santa Catalina and Chino HIlls.
Low prices, uncrowded roads and a different light on the landscape await. But it's also missing a few things. Here's a look at the dollars, cents and scenery.