Living in a place like San Diego, seasons are all about subtlety. Rather than piles of fluffy white snow or icy winds in winter, we have chilly mornings and nights and mostly sunny, cool days. Spring is our rainy season (note: 10 inches of rain per year is our maximum!), the nights and mornings are a bit warmer than winter and most days are cool and sunny–although late spring brings the dreaded “May Gray,” that marine layer that pushes the sun away from the coast. Summer in San Diego starts slowly. June is characterized by “June Gloom” (just like May Gray), with the sun appearing for a cameo in the late afternoon before the fog rolls in again. And fall in San Diego is gorgeous! It’s warm and sunny, often well into November and even December. But it can also be scary with dry Santa Ana winds that whip up the fire danger in our arid, desert-like climate.
Today we decided to trek up to a local mountain town about an hour east of my house in celebration of fall. Julian is known for fall…filled with apple pies, apple cider, and other iconic fall features. But those vivid red and orange and yellow leaves that shout fall in other regions, whisper fall in San Diego. And even in Julian where San Diegans go for fall, the autumn hues are subtle.
And they’re positioned between the greens and browns and reds of the pines and manzanitas and California live oaks that are native to the region.
And then there are the iconic fall images we know so well…pumpkins, scarecrows, apples.
So, the hues of you for me as a San Diegan in fall are a rich, but subdued, palette of oranges, yellows, greens, browns, and reds. And I can feel them and smell them and taste them as much as I can see them. Warm and dry and spicy…and yummy. Like this apple dumpling I had today.
What hues evoke fall for you?