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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Not Indian Summer

Some people say we have no seasons here in southern California, but I think we just need to dream up some catchy names for the variations on a theme we call weather here. For instance, we're basking in mid-autumn warm glowy days and mild nights which uninspired people might call just an extension of the endless summer. Or, they might call it Indian summer. According to my sources, Indian summer is a period of warm, dry, calm weather in autumn . . . following a hard frost. Since we haven't had a hard frost here for, oh, several years now, the variation we are now in can't be called Indian summer. And while no one seems to know for sure where the term comes from, Indian summer likely has some racist root as in "Indian giver". So what do we call this period of lovely weather that started with a couple of hopeful rainstorms, and continues with warm days and just slightly cool nights, and varying but never annoying levels of humidity. Sounds like . . . spring. Aphids have appeared on plants that were stimulated out of their summer doldrum to grow by the rain and slightly lower average daily temps.

Since the temperatures will be getting progressively colder, this spring in autumn---boomerang spring? too australian--will slow as it moves toward winter, opposite to the accelerating plant and insect growth that occurs in spring proper (Feb--Apr). Retrograde Spring? Spring

Anyway, here's a fresh bunch of
aphids on salvia clevelandii being preyed upon by a green lynx spiderling hatched this summer.

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