autumn in the west

My faithful reader asked me what is blooming in my garden right now; an excellent question, although I fear rather a dull one, for while the calendar insists upon autumn, and my body the same, the weather here where I live is still heat and sun and no rain, and my garden is all roses and sunflowers and citrus trees. Not that these ever fade, but the sunflowers will eventually go to seed, and the roses slow for the winter, even stop blooming entirely for a few months, while the citrus continues stubbornly to provide me with lovely and delicious fruit which I would (do) enjoy if only I was not so hungry for cold, wet, ice, snow, all the things this place rarely if ever provides. November, perhaps, the cold and wet, but never the ice and snow, not here. Someday I will move somewhere that my body and the seasons may be in sync again, and then I will complain about defrosting cars and shovelling walks and yearn for the first sight of spring rather than throwing my hands up in despair when February brings daffodils.

In spite of all of that, or perhaps because of it, I love autumn passionately. And this new house I moved into last year, only twenty miles south of the previous, is just enough more inland from the ocean that the weather is a little colder in the autumn and winter, so there is more excuse to drink hot tea (and chocolate, and buttered rum in the evenings) and wear slippers and wish I had a fireplace. So in spite of my continual frustration there are things to look forward to.  And if the man I spoke to on the bus is right (a story for another time, dear reader, you will like it), the winter will be unusually cold and sharp here — though why he should have been right I do not know, except that I would enjoy the weather.

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2 thoughts on “autumn in the west

  1. Daffodils in February – I like that idea ))
    Well, maybe early March.

    Perfect season line up should be like this: Change of the colours late September/early October, rains a bit in November, snowfalls in mid December for perfect White Christmas, A bit of cold in second part of January, snow disappearing in February with beginning of the March on 40-50 F.

    Certainly don’t want to miss Change of the colours and White Christmas, rest of winter I’d like to spend somewhere south. But… I can only dream about it.

    Winter is too long here. I guess I’m just getting old.

    • Yes, that would be quite perfect, I think. Here there is no real winter — change of seasons, yes, but not the seasons in my body. The trees do not change until the middle of October or later, sometimes not until we are well into November, and then the leaves are slow to fall, and many trees are the kind who do not change. Sometime in the autumn, one hopes (for we are perpetually in drought) it rains a little and grows slowly colder, but never the true cold that freezes, although sometimes closest in the nights in January. Then the rains really begin, on and off, and we have spring in February, daffodils and hyacinths and other bulbs, and the cherries and plums and all bloom, very beautiful yes but so early, and then in March the rains truly begin (again, one hopes) and all the flowers are blown down and all the hills turn brilliant green and it is beautiful everywhere. But then by May at the latest (sometimes by early April, in a bad year) it is warm again all the time and dry and things begin to turn brown and gold, and then it is clouded each morning from the ocean and clear and sunny and sometimes hot in the afternoons, and it is like that for months on end until I am mad with wanting some weather, and finally in late September or early October it begins to be a little cooler again and we come back around. There is some variation, depending on what the ocean is doing, but not enough.

      I understand quite well why you would be tired of winter and wish to flee south, but oh, I would like the change. I grew up with snow and cold and all, it is miserable if one does not have the warm house and clothes, and sometimes even then, but I liked it.

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