Santa Cruz Mountains
At the end of a challenging year, complete with Shelter in Place holiday season, Japanese maples are still a celebratory red against the sky. For a couple more weeks, anyway.
Skies are bright and crisp as December arrives. The last of the deciduous leaves cling to trees for just a short time. Soon redwoods and other conifers will dominate the landscape.
Heading toward the solstice, as autumn turns to winter and days get progressively shorter. December’s short-day sunsets often scatter pinkish pastel tones across the skies.
Mushrooms favor these dark, wet, cool days, and pop up overnight on Giant Dahlia stumps. Some Decembers this Giant Dahlia blooms, but this year nary a blossom before freezing.
Though a SIP Christmas is strange to humans, the plant kingdom proceeds with its usual December pattern of late blooms among fallen leaves, regardless of human processes and pandemics.
Old apples festoon a tree near our house. I’ve read that winter apples are delicious treats. During normal times I’d ask my neighbor if I could harvest these neglected goodies.
By December’s end, all of the deciduous leaves have fallen. Even the Chinese redwood on the far right is bare, unlike its evergreen Californian cousin nearby.
2020 cannot end without once more honoring our California firefighters and emergency workers. They saved Felton along with many other communities. Thank you, thank you, Everyone!