Thought it was time to finally work on improving the level transition so here it is!
Unsightly bald patch. Weird pausing between transition.
Other than removing the pause, I've also populated the bald patch with randomly placed grass sprites. There was an effort to make the grass more or less evenly distributed. Rather than generating the positions of all the grass sprites randomly over a large arc, I've instead divided the giant arc into multiple smaller ones and proceed to generate a smaller number of sprites for each of them. Result seems satisfactory.