Monday, 13 February 2012

Winter?

It's Winter here in California - although it seems that nature missed the memo...

While it was actually quite chilly here today, this cooler weather was uncharacteristic of the weather we've had recently and for much of Winter. A few days ago it was 21c and sunny. 21c and Sunny! That's like Winter in Brisbane. Winter in the Northern Hemisphere is supposed to be cold and grey; or at least that's the impression you get in Australia. For the most part, Winter here has been warmer than I anticipated. Most days have greeted us with blue, cloudless skies which, considering we don't have a car and the girls and I walk everywhere, is not a bad thing. A little variety would be nice though.

The trees seem to be really confused about which season it is at the moment. While walking Ava to and from preschool this week I couldn't help but notice the amazing variety in seasonal attributes amongst the trees.

Some trees have decided that Spring is already here and are covered in blossoms in varying pink hues.
The sweet scent of their nectar fills the air and the sound of bees gently buzzing by imparts a warm fuzzy feeling - although Ava is freaked out by the bees and she runs as fast as she can past the trees with blossoms!


Spring blossoms



Spring blossoms

Spring blossoms

And then there are the trees that know that it's only early February and are sticking to their guns with this whole Winter thing. These trees are bald with not a leaf or blossom in sight.

This one knows it's Winter

And then peculiarly, there are the trees that have only just realized that Autumn has been and gone. These trees have suddenly, in the last week, dropped their amber leaves all over the footpath and in garden beds.

Autumn's back

Yet these trees are not the slowest in the seasonal cycle. In the last week I have noticed trees with leaves that have only just changed from green to red. These are slowly starting to make their way to the ground. I'm sure a sudden shed of leaves must be only around the corner.

A little confused about the seasons?
Beautiful red leaves just starting to fall

Although I have no prior experience with Northern Californian Winter, or any other season for that matter, I've been assured by locals that this Winter has been extremely mild. In fact, from what I've heard/read/seen on the internet Winter in general across much of the country has been very mild. Global warming, perhaps? As this part of the country has a Mediterranean climate Winter is supposed to be the rainy season. Since we arrived in late October it has only rained about six times. Apparently Winter is usually quite wet in the Bay Area. Not so this year. Although it is actually raining right now...
  
Last week on Groundhog Day Punxsutawney Phil predicted that we have six more weeks of winter to come. I'm still waiting for the Winter to start! 

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