As transplants have likely attested since the beginning of time, the seasons (or, rather lack thereof) in Southern California take some getting used to. I grew up in the foothills in Colorado, where long summers and winters are slightly punctuated with a short, muddy spring full of snowstorms and a week of prime aspen viewing in the autumn. I was thrilled as an adult to discover the pleasures of spring and fall in places with four distinct seasons, including New York City, where I spent my college years. It was a shock, then, to move to California and find myself confronted with an endless procession of sunny, seventy-degree days, month after month, year after year.
Yet one always finds new ways of tracking these things. Despite this terrible drought, a few seasonal markers have still come to pass this year, my favorite being the spring flowering of trees, species quite exotic to this pine tree forest bred lady. The purple blossoms of jacaranda trees now carpet our street, and a nearby block boasts the most beautiful flame of the forest that I’ve ever seen. I take a special detour on my way home every day to marvel at its primeval good looks.
Surely the most unpleasant seasonal symptom here is the arrival of the Santa Ana winds. They howled into town quite unseasonably yesterday, and the resulting mix is ninety-degree heat, clouds of dust, and total desiccation. We’re used to seeing them in the ‘fall’, when memories of our relatively temperate summers are scorched out by these desert winds. Sweaty and parched, I needed a reminder today of how beautiful things were last week and thought you might too, so here’s the photographic evidence. Hope you are staying cool, dear reader, wherever this finds you.