Friday, December 2, 2011

Arbor Walk in Autumn, and the Santa Ana Winds

Some people may not believe it, but it's autumn in Benicia. It's December 2. Almost winter, even. But if you were in Benicia you would think it was May. It was 74° today. SEVENTY-FOUR. It's on account of what I like to call the Santa Ana Winds.

For those of you who don't live in California, Santa Ana Winds, according to the US National Weather Service are "Strong down slope winds that blow through the mountain passes in southern California. These winds, which can easily exceed 40 mph, are warm and dry and can severely exacerbate brush or forest fires, especially under drought conditions." They come from Southern California all the way up here to Northern California. Wednesday was cold, cold, cold. I got home from the gym and almost froze to death before I could change out of my damp clothes. It took me forever to warm up. I finally had to take a bath (rats) in Wellington's soaker tub. It's a jetless Jacuzzi. It's deep and contoured and I love it way too much.  My second favorite is the rain shower head.  Then, Wednesday night when I went outside, the winds had started up and they were warm.  It's probably 20° warmer today. And tomorrow will be 20° cooler.

But for now, we're reveling in the mild climate.  We're spending every possible moment outside.  Dot and I walked downtown (some of us bought some vintage ornaments, pics to follow), the cat is lying on the warm porch.  And later this evening is the Benicia Christmas Tree Lighting.  I'm thinking there will be a great turnout this year.  Last year, which was our first in Benicia, we went a little late.  We missed most of the ceremony.  Mostly what we got was rollicking hoodlums showing off for each other and forgetting that other people are trying to walk down the street, for crying out loud.
Fingers crossed that they've either learned better manners or they'll be busy elsewhere because Dot and I are going!

These are pictures of the Arbor Walk in Autumn.  As loyal readers will recall, this is the first autumn for the Arbor Walk and I'm happy to report that it is chock-full of autumnal beauty.

The persimmon tree was beautiful but was disappointingly leafless by the time I took the pictures.  All the reds in these photos come from the snowball bushes and the weeping Japanese Maples.

And what's up with this Daphne?  Blooming in December?  That aloe is from Morningsun Herb Farm and is very happy in this little succulent patch.

The magnolia is still very happy, even though it's no longer blooming.  He needs a rest now and then so he can grow big and tall.  Not too tall, though, since he's outside my kitchen window.
I'm going to go see if I can locate The Dot and drag her downtown for the tree lighting.  She's a little disappointed in the weather on account of being a stickler for weather acting the way it's supposed to.  She would like chilly and foggy.  I'd rather be comfortable and pretend it's winter at Wellington.


  1. Brother-in-law MarcJanuary 9, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Our version of the Santa Ana winds are called the Diablo winds.