Picture yourself riding across the desert in the 1800s, heading for California. You’re wearing a Stetson hat and it’s blazing hot outside. You step out of your covered wagon onto the sand and look around, blinking in the bright sun. What do you see?
If you’re like most people, it probably doesn’t look like much to you. Just low trees and scraggly shrubs for miles around.
But that’s where you’d be wrong. Because if you’re seeing these kinds of plants, what you’re looking at is probably chaparral: an area with mild winters, harsh, hot, and dry summers, and lots and lots of shrubs, or low trees. And while it might look like there’s nothing much there, what you’re looking at is actually a teeming, thriving community — even if you can’t see it all at first glance.