Effects of Santa Ana Winds

It’s the day after Christmas, but it feels more like a summer day in Southern California.  Today, I battled the crowds and went to three different malls to return items for my daughters and my husband.  I know, call me CRAZY!  Actually, I literally “lucked out” in the parking lot department.  I was able to find a parking space within the first 5 minutes of arrival at each of the different malls.  I didn’t have to circle the parking lot, waiting for potential customers to leave, and stalk them in my car until they pulled out of their space.  Even my youngest daughter, Allison, was amazed at how we got so lucky.

There were lots of people at the mall, taking advantage of the after Christmas sales.  I was good and didn’t shop or buy anything.  I was amazed by my self-control!  Lines were long, but I remembered the promise I made to myself.  I remained calm and patient.  The line seemed to move more quickly that way.

When my daughter and I finally got on the freeway to go home, I glanced at my car thermometer.  It read 80 degrees Farenheit!  I had my sunroof open and the windows rolled down.  It was a gorgeous day, but very windy.  We were having what is known as Santa Ana winds.  This is a very strong, dry wind that blows in from the desert.  The first thing I worry about when we have Santa Ana winds are wildfires.  We had a terrible one several years ago.  Many houses were lost.  School was cancelled due to poor air quality.  Here’s a photo of what the sky looked like at that time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today, I haven’t heard of any wildfires in my area.  Thank goodness.  I hope it stays that way.

Anyway, when my daughter and I got home from the mall, she went out into the backyard.  Immediately she called to me to come out.  She noticed our table umbrella had a huge rip in it.

umbrella

I guess it is time to get a new umbrella.  I knew this damage was caused by the high winds.  I wondered what other effects of the wind I could find.  I walked out to the front yard to investigate.  The first things I saw were the trees across the street bending in the wind.

trees

We have a lot of eucalyptus trees in our area.  They often don’t sustain high winds very well.  Sometimes trees will blow over or branches will end up in the road.  It can be dangerous.  I continued my walk up the street and I found these dead palm leaves in the street.  Obviously blown down by the wind.

palm tree

I decided to take my short walk further into the canyon.  I found these beauties next to the path.

tumbleweed 2

tumbleweed 1

They are tumbleweeds.  Tumbleweeds are dead plants that have been uprooted by the wind.  They blow where the wind takes them.  On a windy day like today, it is not unusual to see these guys rolling up and down the street.

I had fun on my learning walk this afternoon.  The best part is I didn’t have to go very far.  In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the warm weather and spend some time outside.  I am certain the weather will turn colder soon.  I will also hope that no wildfires occur in my area while these Santa Ana winds are present.

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