Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Autumn Days

When I moved to the Los Angeles area twenty years ago, it seemed like we had summer here all year 'round. I was from Chicago, where the seasons are as clearly defined as the crunch of a boot in a pile of dry leaves, or the pang of a tailbone when it hits a patch of ice.

But we have all four unique seasons in southern California. Our winters bring gray skies and, hopefully, rain. Spring is green in the hills and valleys; the scrub reasserts itself and the air smells of sage. Summer is lazy, funky fun at the beach, glory in the mountains, hot treachery in the desert. And though our autumn may not have the colors of, say, New England, we still experience fall's bittersweet turn of light, its feel of simultaneous endings and beginnings.

Our autumn days are warm. They're shorter now, too. Good days for long walks...or long sits.

(Speaking of days, if I haven't been cut I'll be on Days of Our Lives today as the oncologist, Dr. Knapp. Since the weather's so nice and the scene is short, if you want to watch it I suggest recording it. How did you like my segue?)

28 comments:

Laurie said...

Petrea, your writing is as tasty as your fine photo. What a perfect post. I share your experience with the seasons here. Now, the changes are so obvious to me. For many years, I said the same thing -- it's always summer here! Maybe it takes a couple of decades for us to acclimate.

Beautiful shot, beautiful words, beautiful Petrea!

(I'm so psyched to see you on DAYS!)

Laurie said...

(And I can't seem to stop making exclamation points!)

-K- said...

Looks like a rustic corner of Pasadena. Nice colors too.

Dina said...

Oh I wish I could see you today, Dr.Knapp.
Laurie is so right. From your words I suddenly recall exactly how slipping on Chicago ice felt.
Jerusalem is having its first rainy day today and I'm feeling what you said about fall (but I didn't know how to articulate it).
Thanks for the good words.

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

days of our lives - wow, i remember that show years and years and years ago on New Zealand television. what memories you brought back to me - i was once of the highlights of my lives, the days when soap operas were very much in vogue!

Virginia said...

YOur text is always the treat that completes your photographs. I hope to find you today! I grew up watching soap operas with my grandmother. I remember when some were only 15 minutes long. They were on in the mornings and afternoons. We never missed them.

altadenahiker said...

I'm pathetic. I had to look up on oncologist.

altadenahiker said...

I mean, look up oncologist. I shall record.

Vanda said...

To me LA has three seasons: summer, fire, and somewhat rainy.

Stéphane Kardos said...

As Laurie said, it probably takes few years to see a change in the seasons in L.A, for me it's been a very long summer so far after a year here.
I'd like to sit on those benches and just do nothing.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

I like that photo, it makes me happy and it makes me want to go for a walk

Blognote said...

That is a fine photo indeed, and I like the way you write!!

Bernie K. said...

I love your language, and the fall. The turn toward rot is plangent, but childishly exciting … I imagine kids of a thousand years gone playing in straw like this, while their folks pulled the year's last roots from the field. It all creeps in around us—like those dun tendrils around the benches. Every year we rehearse the end, but while we can write about it, we know we'll cheat those shadows … maybe that's the secret joy in fall.

Petrea said...

Good morning, all! (Exclamation point...) Laurie, I recently read that exclamation points have become ubiquitous through email. Maybe it's because we're trying to express enthusiasm that can't come through vocally. Thank you for your enthusiasm!!!

-K-, these benches sit on what looks like it used to be a sunken badminton court at Hahamongna Watershed park.

Dina, I hope we'll get a photo of Jerusalem in the rain. Do you work at digs under rainy conditions?

Hello, Mediterranean Kiwi, welcome! I've seen you at Dina's and am happy to see you here. Yes, "Days" is over 40 years old and still running.

Interesting fact, Virginia. I hadn't realized the soaps were once so short. I hope you find me, too! I hesitate to announce these things because small roles get cut so often.

AH, I think the only reason I knew the word was from TV.

Vanda, you forget that odd season (autumn, I'm thinking?) where it's warm during the day and absolutely freezing cold at night.

We've been in drought since before your arrival, Stéph, so unfortunately you haven't experienced our "winter."

I'll go with you, PA.

Thank you, Blognote!

Thanks, Bernie. Speaking of words one has to look up: plangent. Every time I hear it I run for the dictionary. Why doesn't the meaning stay in my head? Plaintive, resounding...

Miss Havisham said...

You look so cute sitting in that old make-up chair.

Olivier said...

elle est belle et très poétique cette photo. Belle couleur de l'automne avec ces bancs.
it is beautiful and very poetic this picture. Beautiful color in autumn with these benches.

USelaine said...

P, thanks for clearing up the "plangent" question. I thought it had to do with an early British royal dynasty.

Speaking of rehearsing the end and cheating shadows, anybody game for a winter meet-up in Death Valley?

Kelly said...

Lovely post, Petrea! I love the way write! I like the photo too, and wonder how a fall day (a warmer fall day) might look from there!

Kelly said...

That is to say, I love the way YOU write. For myself, I am so chilly, I can't quite type today!

Rose said...

I can see you sitting there, Petrea, enjoying the sunshine and looking at the views.

Keith said...

Glad you posted this early. I'm not a soap watcher but I made a point of watching today. You were very good! Beautiful photo also. Really captures the feel of autumn around here.

JT said...

I was born and raised here in Pasadena, yet despite the often balmy Octobers and wildfires, I still appreciate our autumn season. Last year, while hiking, I looked out over Altadena and Pasadena and saw that a cold snap caused many of our trees to turn color. I've been back east in the fall, as well as the Midwest and have seen the glorious explosion of color. Though we don't quite experience the same in LA, every once in a while a stand of red, orange and yellow maple trees surprises me and I rejoice.

Great shot and commentary.

Christie said...

I would totally miss crunching my feet in the leaves. I don't know if I could live in a place without definite seasons. I haven't tried, but I would miss everything except winter, I'm sure. (It actually snowed today, so I'm not looking forward to that at all!!)

Congratulations on your "DAY"! Hope it all goes well.

Cafe Observer said...

Is this Zen Toolsday?

Well, then: on account of de economy, the Huntington Gardens has had to cut back on their water bill. And, replacement benches would only break the budget.

PS: P: next time I see you at a restaurant you gotta tell me a Seinfeld story. 1 of my fav comedies.

Bernie K. said...

Kelly, I am often, for myself, too chilly, as well.

Petrea said...

Merci Miss H.

Merci Olivier, et bienvenue!

I'll email you, Elaine. I like the idea.

Kelly, come sit with me and Rose on the bench and soak up some sun!

Keith, it was sweet of you to watch. It went by quickly, didn't it?

I remember that cold snap, JT. It was a serious one. But it gave us an autumn that looked Midwestern.

We've got so many dry leaves, Christie, you can crunch all year round!

C.O., you're on.

Bernie, you are cool.

tr3nta said...

Hey!... this is an awesome photo...
bravo.

Petrea said...

Gracias, Tr3nta, I appreciate that.