Santa Cruz Mountains
No matter how cold the nights, the camellia will bloom come January. In damp woods or beside seaside homes, this winter wonder brightens winter days throughout Santa Cruz county.
As January marches on, the number of blossoms multiplies, until the entire tree is a mass of pink and green. Only after several weeks do the blossoms fade and drop.
The beautiful camellia is not just a feast for human eyes. It also feeds squirrels, who carefully spin the flowers in their paws, munching just the base of each petal. Luckily, there is plenty for all.