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On the eve of winter storms and winds, the trees here in the Santa Cruz Mountains and down in the Santa Clara Valley are a riot of colour carpeting the sidewalks and hillsides. The range of colour is spectacular once again this year, an elongated fall perhaps with just enough moisture and no significant winds yet to empty the branches, but rather for the trees to drop them dancing to the ground gracefully. We do indeed have seasons here, and this is one of the most beautiful.

In nicely mature stands of gingko biloba in town, golden leaf-fall has piled up in the streets and neighbourhoods. Some trees have shed almost all of their pure golden leaves, while others may be mid-cycle in turning from green to gold, and the next tree will be a right Bobby Dazzler of shimmering yellow.

Where the mostly evergreen woods of firs, redwoods, oaks and madrones provide dark contrast on narrow roads up in the hills, the sparse golden branches sketch the route like fairy lights.

When the forecasted storms blow thru, if fierce as predicted, much of this will have blown off, to be soggy and hurried on the way of nature’s debris. I will miss the brilliant reds, golds, persimmon leaves and winter light backdrop. As we hunker down for the days to come, with a warm cup of tea in our hands, the beauty will become a slight smile and memory.

Keep warm in the days to come