Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Beautiful Days of Autumn in the Great Valley

I get it that Californians don't truly understand the concept of autumn. I've never seen the full glorious display of fall colors across the hardwood forests of the eastern United States, so maybe I understand the mild disdain that my eastern friends have when I get excited about the belated arrival of fall here in Modesto.

Just the same, I love it when it finally gets cold enough that our Modesto Ash trees (Fraxinus velutina) start turning. The ash trees are a southwest native that are drought resistant, so they are a nice match to our local climate.
Today was the kind of day that I really appreciate living here. Modesto has less than stellar days sometimes, hot and smoggy summers, and cold dreary foggy winters. For a few wonderful days in November the streets are alive with color, the skies are washed clear by the first rainstorms, and the air smells fresh and clean.
I grabbed my camera and started walking around the blocks near campus, and I enjoyed every moment. Modesto is a totally different looking kind of place for these few days.
The pleasant days won't last for very long, and the tule fogs will soon begin. They can be nasty (try driving with a blindfold on). I remember them being worse in years past, and I don't know if it is because of warming temperatures, or changing patterns of droughts and wet years, but any day without fog is a joy.
Especially this day...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! I really like those autumn colors...