December 2nd, 2011



Wind has persisted, and the walnut tree is now naked. The mulberry still has plenty of leaves to drop, even though much of the front lawn is already buried in a mass of yellow. The pine needles have been blown into oddly arranged drifts on the driveway. They could be large glyphs, but I have no idea what they might mean, other than that winter is on its way. December is finally here, and I can't wait to be done with it.
laszlo moholy-nagy_chx


I was quite impressed by our windstorm of the last couple of days, until I read todays newspaper and found out what had been going on farther south. Not only did the foothills above the San Joaquin Valley get stronger winds than we got above the Sacramento Valley, but the area south of the Tehachapi Mountains got the worst of it, with rare hurricane force winds hitting Los Angeles, leaving about a third of a million households without electricity. I guess we got off easy with our mere gale.

Once every ten of fifteen years, the San Gabriel Valley will get a windstorm, usually in November or December, that does quite a bit of damage. I remember going to Pasadena after a couple of those storms and seeing the streets littered with leaves and broken branches and the occasional uprooted oak or sycamore. Sometimes we would spot a few dislodged roof shingles here and there, or a stray aluminum awning. There were usually crews out repairing downed power lines. Apparently it was worse this time— maybe a fifty-year storm instead of a ten-year storm. I certainly never saw anything like the damage to trees along Green Street in this video after any of the storms I witnessed.

Neither did I ever see a filling station lose its canopy, as shown about one minute into this video, which also features a more typical scene of back yard citrus and avocado slaughter near the end. We didn't even get anything like that up here. I didn't even lose the weak fence along the south side of my back yard. But then the wind season is still young, and I could still end up dealing with a tree falling onto the house this month.