Contrary to popular belief, there is a bit of chill during winter here. I was surprised by how many were surprised by my pictures of slight frost last week. The stone fruit that used to grow in the Santa Clara Valley could not have produced without adequate chill. Some deciduous trees color well for autumn, and all defoliate. We do not use much firewood, but some of us use some.

It may not look much like autumn to outsiders. Nonetheless, I find the local climate to be more than satisfactory for what I grow. In some regards, I find it to be ideal. Rhody just stays in by the stove.

1. Sycamores are trashy. Because of anthracnose, they dropped leaves in spring. They dropped more after the Fire. Now they are defoliating for winter. A bulldozer is used for all the leaves.

2. Bald cypress colors well by simple local standards, even if it is merely orangy brown. Bald cypress is rare here, perhaps because of the climate, or perhaps because of its buttressing roots.

3. Dogwood fruit is messy through winter. Surprisingly, wildlife is not particularly interested in it. I should make jelly with it for competition at the Harvest Festival next year (if it happens).

4. FreeBay is how we refer to small piles of bay firewood left on roadsides for neighbors to take away. Vegetation management has become a priority, and generates firewood as a byproduct.

5. Canna behave as outsiders expect them to here. They try to continue blooming until they eventually get frosted. The minor frost they experienced so far was insufficient to stop them yet.

6. Minor frost seems to evaporate as readily as it thaws when exposed to sunlight. This sure looks like autumn. I somehow sort of believe that this is what autumn looks like in other regions.

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:


9 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Frozen II

  1. Anthracnose betrays the fact that what you call sycamore is Platanus occidentalis rather than Acer pseudoplatanus. Bald cypress would be Taxodium distichum? which is not native to where you are? Or does Taxodium mucronatum occur further north than I know about? You go on imagining that picture six is what autumn looks like in other regions, I don’t want to be the one who disappoints you.

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    1. Most of the sycamore leaves in the picture are of Platanus X acerifolia, which (considered to be) a hybrid of Platanus occidentalis and Platanus orientalis. I would like to eliminate all of them from what should be an exclusive grove of the native Platanus racemosa. I believe that when the landscape was installed, Each of the two species were intended for two separate areas, but were accidentally mixed. (There as many Platanus racemosa mixed into a grove of Platanus x acerifolia nearby.) I rather dislike the Platanus x acerifolia for several reasons, but would not mind if they were an exclusive grove. As they are mixed, they look like the other sycamores, with serious problems. I mean, they look like wimpy and disfigured California sycamores. The California sycamores are grand trees in the wild, but are very messy in the landscapes. They start dropping leaves as soon as the start making them. It amazed me that they have anything left to drop in autumn.
      The bald cypress is the Taxodium distichum. It is native in the Southeast, and in somewhat popular there. I noticed it as a street tree in Oklahoma City, which concerned me. However, I suspect that it does not develop the aggressively buttressed root system if not watered too generously. Ours was planted in a swampy situation, perhaps because the situation is too swampy for other trees. If we could add more trees there, I would like more of the same. Taxodium mucronatum is not native as far north as California, and is even more rare than Taxodium distichum. There are some in the region of San Diego, but I have never seen them.
      I sort of suspected that #6 was not an accurate representation of autumn in other regions because of the redwoods in the background. I did not notice that until after posting it. Oh well; I need not know what else is wrong with it. I did get to experience autumn in Oklahoma, and it was RAD . . . but cold and damp. Ick.


    1. Unfortunately, that is why the species is so rare here now. Someone planted a few of them many years ago, but put them where the fruit was messy on pavement below. This is the last remaining tree. I may need to remove it because it is so close to the front door of one of the lodges. I will try pruning it for clearance (because it is too low over the porch and an adjacent parking space anyway), and might be able to salvage it if the mess is subsequently confined to a mostly unpaved area. I think that a few fallen fruit on the parking space is tolerable, but the abundance that gets tracked into the carpet is unacceptable.


    1. I do not know if it is possible yet. I enjoy making jelly from unusual fruit, but have found that some does not set, even with added pectin. Years ago, was annoyed by the lack of information about our native blue elderberries. After I started using them like black elderberries, they suddenly became so popular that my sources became exhausted. Fortunately, there are plenty here. I just needed to cut them down so that I could reach the fruit.


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