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The colors of the foliage during autumn in New England are legendary, at least here in the USA. We Californians who were born and raised in the Eastern USA lament the loss of the seasonal changes, especially as October rolls around. An occasional earthquake or mudslide we can stand, but we are nostalgic for fall foliage. Or so we believe. As for me, at this time of year, I am always pleasantly surprised: we do have fall colors. Autumn is a beautiful time in Berkeley.
Part of the problem is that the native plants of Northern California tend to be evergreen, or turn a muted brown as winter approaches, as do the sycamores of Big Sur. The bright reds of the Vermont hillsides, or flaming aspen gold of Colorado is indeed absent. In Berkeley, there are a lot of exotic plantings which add color, especially pyracantha with its orange berries, and the Japanese maple, though small, which turns very red.
Another problem is that the garden flowers, so spectacular in the spring, die back in autumn. Other agricultural products, including gourds and pumpkins become more colorful, but they are no substitute for the flowers. Pumpkins are very big here, and in the seaside town of Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, there is an annual pumpkin festival.
The greatest thing about autumn in Northern California, however, is the light. True, the days end earlier now, but the gold from the sky, swooping in at an angle, in a way artists call "raking" must be seen to be believed. Van Gogh is said to have raved about the light of Southern France. Bah. Humbug. The light of the Golden State goes on and on past Thanksgiving Day deep into December. Really. Try visiting a beach on Christmas Day (if it's not raining, of course.) You'll see what I mean. Arrive in the late morning.Permanent Link to This Entry | | | Technorati Tag: Autumn blog comments powered by Disqus Comments (View)
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