California dreamin’

by Caroline Brown

all the leaves are brown
and the sky is grey
I’ve been for a walk
on a winter’s day

I was in California for a business trip for the last 5 days. It was great being back because I had the chance to visit several good friends and the weather was pretty decent except for one day when it poured in buckets. In the Bay Area, it wasn’t exactly warm–highs in the mid 50s–but it was mostly sunny and not too windy, and compared to Rhode Island–highs in the mid 30s–it was heaven. At Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, I was able to sit outside the library and soak in a little sun. The photo above was taken on the MPC campus.

Usually this time of year, things in California are wetter and greener, but they’re in the middle of a drought. Instead, natural landscapes were painted in tones of browns and sage greens. Maybe the rain will help. I’m ashamed to admit that even though I lived there for 3 years, I wasn’t much into plants at the time and never bothered to learn and identify California vegetation. The only things I can identify are the eucalyptus tree and the manzanita bush.

I’d be safe and warm
if I was in L.A.

California dreamin’
on such a winter’s day

The more manicured landscapes look like this right now:

This photo was taken at my hotel in Monterey. I had forgotten that flowers bloom nearly year round there. I wish I knew the name of the flowering tree. The pink flowers are cyclamen.

Meanwhile, back in Rhode Island, it looks something like this:

We had about a foot of snow right before I left, a few additional inches while I was gone, and it’s flurrying as I type.

If you can’t tell, I’m missing California a little right now. On the downside: as nice as California was, it didn’t feel a bit like Christmas–no matter how many carols I heard and how many pimped-up houses I saw. On the other hand, with so much snow on the ground, New England is a veritable Christmas-lover’s paradise (and I do love Christmas).

you know the preacher likes the cold
he knows I’m gonna stay

Well… least for now.

California dreamin’
on such a winter’s day

Happy holidays! I have more pics from my trip that I’ll try to post in the next few days.

Lyrics by The Mamas & Papas.


7 Comments to “California dreamin’”

  1. Welcome back C! Glad you had a fun trip in addition to the business part.

    Nice photos….but I still prefer a ‘dusting’ of snow, this time of year.

    I love California too and the song selection… one of my favs. from the ‘oldie but goldie’ category .

    Happy Holidays to you, Curt and the Kitties! G

  2. What a dyamite photo showing all those lovely blooms at your hotel. Gosh, I’ve never even thought of cyclamen as anything but a house plant πŸ™‚ … I think I live much too far north!

    Your song selection is perfect and I too love the song.

    I too would find it difficult to feel “in the season” if there was no snow in sight. Though, that’s because it’s all I’ve ever known.

    May you and yours enjoy a perfectly snowy Christmas!

    Diane, cyclamen lover, at Sand to Glass

  3. Just one correction… Eucalypts are not California natives! There are nearly 900 species of Eucalyptus (including closely related Corymbia and Angophora species), all of them native to Australia or nearby islands.

  4. Hi Echidna. Thanks for clarifying….I definitely didn’t mean to imply that eucalyptus are native to CA. I don’t think it’s incorrect to call them “California vegetation” because they’re all over the place! However I realize that they aren’t native and are considered an invasive species in CA.

  5. Just stumbled upon your blog. I live in northern California where the weather is comparatively mild all year around. So it seems to be a total waste not to plant anything in the garden. Last year I decided to create an edible garden in our backyard with my kids. Sadly I am still looking at a big patch of dirt.

    I am glad to have found your blog and am slowly learning about being a gardener, a patient one. Thanks for the inspiration. Digging will commence in our backyard this weekend πŸ™‚

  6. I love your avatar photo CindyW and your blog looks very interesting too. Tried to leave a comment but didn’t see that as an option.

  7. Hello! I noticed your good blog before I knew you moved from CA. I moved, quite recently, from “sexy” Sonoma Valley to “totally un-sexy” Quilcene, WA, and I couldn’t be happier. Between the uber-uber-rich, the tourists and the psycho yuppie commuters Sonoma was just way too much to deal with. Lots of peace and quiet here… Anyway, great blog and now I’ll be even more attuned to your perpectives! Bonnie

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