The Sun Sets on December and Rises on January

Happy New Year to all!

Last week we had a series of beautiful sunsets and — cliché though it is — they are irresistible to photograph. This was from December 31 (more or less):

Late December Sunset

With January comes the reliably sunny and cheerful bloom of the Pearl Acacia at the end of my street. This is one of my favorite trees, in or out of bloom. The flowers only last a few weeks, much too brief.

Acacia podalyriifolia

Sadly this tree was badly damaged during the freak windstorm we had a month ago (wind gusts up to 100 mph, they say). It now has a huge gaping hole where a large branch or two used to be.

Acacia podalyriifolia wind damage

This is how it looked in January, 2011:

Acacia podalyriifolia intact

If you did not get to experience the windstorm first hand, you can see a bit of the destruction in this video. Downed trees and lengthy power outages were widespread. But you won’t hear too many complaints from us in Southern California where we’ve been enjoying 80 degree weather all week. Unfortunately, the plants are a little confused by the heat and we’ve hardly had any rain yet this winter — the only time of year we can expect rain at all.

Finally, here’s a shot of the blimp circling back around to the Rose Parade on Monday, January 2:

Blimp over the Rose Parade

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