Signs of Spring

Daffodils and Tulips on Fresno Avenue

Daffodils and Tulips on Fresno Avenue

While out walking on Fresno Avenue on Friday evening, I noticed these daffodils and tulips blooming underneath one of the small ginkgo trees there.

In England, the appearance of crocuses and daffodils (or “daffs” as my mother called them) heralded the approach of Spring. Here in California, the flowers bloom earlier, and of course there’s not such a marked change of seasons.

The tall cypress tree in the background of the photo used to stand against the stockyard building, until that was demolished last year. In fact, there were two such trees, but one blew down in windy weather a few weeks ago. The fallen tree can still be seen lying behind the standing one.

Shoveling Snow

Snow in the Garden, February 1962

Snow in the Garden, February 1962

For today’s “throwback” picture, I chose an old (and rather blurry) slide that my father took in February 1962. It shows me shoveling snow in our front garden in Scarborough.

The shovel I’m using came from our coal bunkers, since we had both coal fires and coke furnaces at that time. The gate behind me led to what had been the original driveway of the house. In those days, “mobile shops” were still making the rounds, and it wasn’t unusual for those vehicles to back down that driveway, so that the driver could open the rear door safely. My favorite mobile shop was that of Woodhead’s Bakery, which sold all kinds of baked treats. I always wanted my mother to buy “iced baps” (if you don’t know what those are, click on the link), but she frequently made the excuse that they were too expensive!

There was some significant snow that year, but little did we know that the subsequent Winter (1962-63) would be the most severe for many decades. For my part, I had nothing with which to compare any of it, so I just assumed that deep snow was an annual feature of the season.

The Met Office weather report for that month is available at:

Today, however, the weather problem in Britain seems to be wind rather than snow, thanks to Storm Doris:

A Frosty Sunday Morning

Village Green Park, Santa Rosa, on a frosty morning

Village Green Park, Santa Rosa, on a frosty morning

I took the photo above at 8 a.m. today, when the Park in front of our house was frostier than I’ve seen it since we moved here over 3 years ago. The frost was perhaps more intense because of the rain we had last week, which left everything damp.

Only a few weeks ago, at Thanksgiving, we were enjoying the sight of autumn leaves from the same vantage point, as below.


Autumn Leaves in Village Green Park, Thanksgiving 2016

The street running across both photos at the far end of the park is Sebastopol Road. From 1904 to 1946, the P&SR railroad ran along the center of the street here.

It seems that the last-ever passenger train on those tracks was an “Enthusiast Special” that ran on 6th April 1941. There are some interesting photos of that train in the book Petaluma & Santa Rosa Railway.