Rain, heavy at times

Would you like to see the trees of B______? They are just beginning to turn. This is “winter,” to be followed in about a month by “spring.”


That’s the Chinese Pistache down the street. We have one too, very tiny, just put in by the city last spring. It’s already lost all its leaves.


Here’s a little liquidamber tree. Don’t the leaves look like little jewels? And I’m standing under a mayten tree — those are the leaves dropping down from above. I don’t know what I think about those. Pretty, I guess. They can have a pretty drooping look, but are also classified as invasive. Hmmm. [I looked it up — they’re from Chile.]


Here’s the persimmon tree, which I believe I have showed you before. Its leaves were a lovely orange last week, but now they’ve mostly fallen and the remaining ones are yellow.


Now we’re on campus. I love these gingko trees.


Apparently a strange and rare African tree. It was moved from across campus about 15 years ago. I don’t think it is enjoying all the construction traffic.


I don’t know what this is, either — probably some kind of ornamental prunus. And behind it a redwood.

K gets angry at me for not liking it here more. Partly I don’t like it because it’s too obvious. What’s not to like about this state by the ocean? It’s pretty. The climate is mild. I admit that I would rather live someplace that’s a little harder to like. But I also like a place with four seasons — where it snows and everything is transformed, and then transformed again in the spring. I also like gear — winter boots, mittens, mud rooms, hammocks, bicycles. Things that you need at one time of year and then put away for the next. Another thing though is not exactly knowing what it ought to look like here. You can grow nearly everything here, and people do, so you have to go far away to see what the landscape really wants to look like. None of those trees above are local, except for the redwood. Without people there would probably be some oaks, some toyon, and then grassland with some chapparal around here. It’s actually a lot easier to get a sense of the seasons when you go out to the parks.


This is more like what it wants to look like around here.

I admit that since I’ve started taking walks out in the parks around I actually like it better here. It’s beginning to seem more like a real place, and not just some strange snowless replica of an eastern town.


9 thoughts on “Rain, heavy at times

  1. You perhaps would like Virginia. Four distinct (usually) seasons with more summer than anything. It’s beautiful and has mountains and the ocean (but so does CA, it’s just less of a drive to both).

    I don’t like winter stuff. I hate stuff I have to store for nine months only to have to find again for those other insufferable months of the year. It seems wasteful and it’s annoying to buy boots for kids who will only get a few months wear out of them. I would like three seasons and no scarves, gloves, mittens, hats, winter coats, snow, ice, frost, etc.

    Maybe we can trade houses?

  2. I bet I would like Virginia, and I’m sure you would like California. Although it does not get quite hot enough to grow satisfactory tomatoes, I have to warn you. Sure — I’ll trade! (I love boots — I love the idea of boots. You will need rainboots here, I should warn you.)

  3. I have rainboots. I’ve been to California – Sacramento and Woodland – to visit relatives. I’ve been to San Francisco (one night) on the way to Hawaii so I haven’t seen anything but the hotel room there. But I don’t like SF’s weather. If Mark Twain hates it, I’m bound to as well.

    In Virginia, you can even ski – the mountain resorts make snow when there isn’t any.

    • I’ve been to Charlotte, and it was beautiful. And I’ve been to Mount Vernon and Williamsburg and Monticello — you know, all the hot spots. They were all completely pleasant, from what I remember. Oh, and I must have driven through on my way to Great Smokey National Park, right? (You do know that where I live is only across the bridge from SF, right? So you might want to reconsider that trade!)

  4. Charlotte’s pretty. I’ve been through there once or twice. I love Monticello. The Smokey Mountains are a bit west of here – NC and TN. The Appalachians run down the western spine of Virginia. I’ve been through them but never for any length of time. It’s all nice even though summer can be brutal.

    Yes and Berkeley’s probably got too many crunchy hippies for my taste but perhaps we can swap in the winter. You can go skiing at Wintergreen and I can sit in your back yard and sip something cold.

  5. It’s been snowing here since the first day of December–just a bit, not enough to interfere with everyday life except for those of us who can’t walk on packed snow and ice that refreezes every night. I am already officially tired of this season.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s