November 05, 2012

A Girl for All Seasons

With the temperature peaking at a record-breaking 95 degrees today in Los Angeles, it's hard to believe it's the end of Daylight Savings, and already a month and a half into fall. It's almost Thanksgiving, and it's as hot and sunny today as any day in August.

Chalk it up to global warming.

It's days like today that make people complain that LA has no seasons. If you ask the ex-pat New Yorkers, Detroiters or Chicagoans living here, any number of them will say that LA is great, but that they miss seasons.

I, too, grew up on the East Coast, in the snow belt of Upstate New York, with four years of college in the blizzard-buried Mohawk Valley. My ankles display permanent scars from years of snow-packed jeans burning them red.

If what these people mean is that they miss snow, blustering wind, raw running noses filled with frozen snot, and tearing eyes squinting under low visibility, I do not miss seasons.

Besides, I don't have to. LA has enough seasons for me. Sure, it doesn't snow in winter, making the holiday season not very Christmasy (save for the artificial snowfall at The Grove), but it gets plenty cold - at least at night. And from LA, you can see it snowing elsewhere, the snow-capped mountains just a short drive away.

On a warm day in November, you can visit a multitude of places - like the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont - to see bright blooming flowers... manzanita branches...

...evergreen needles...

...and sage...

...until you're met with the dry, cracked, crinkled remains of the seasons passed.

Fallen leaves litter new growth.

And you realize: nearly everything can yellow...

...and redden...

...with the coming of this new season.

There are seasonal changes in LA, like the wildflowers that sprout in the springtime... just, like everything else, have to look for them.

I am a girl for all seasons, who appreciates the subtlety of nuanced seasonal changes. I do not need a Nor'easter to indicate the coming of winter. I can already feel it in my bones.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: Autumn in LA, Courtesy of Griffith Park

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