The golden state turns emerald this month thanks to the unexpectedly normal rains transforming even Mt.Diablo velvet green. See for yourself on a hike on Mt.Diablo on January 5 from 9:30 to 12:30. Note the abundance of Christmas Berries and Ghost Pines. The jaunt is about 4 miles long and rises a few hundred feet in elevation. Tickets start at $10.

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