The fusillade is initiated after a couple of hot, dry, Santa Ana days in late September or early October. Fire season in California rides the winds into the dry canyons and hillsides, bleached dry by the sun at the end of Summer.
Here at the beach, the fires are a local news phenomena. Something happening in the local mountains and not much danger to us. We watch in awe as the flames burn the hillsides black, and are saddened by the deaths and property loss that occurs.
But at our home the most danger we face is the hot dry air wilting the garden, and the threat of losing an eye from the malevolent wisteria pods. The pods look deceptively pleasant. Nice, soft, wooly green pods in the spring. Velvety smooth they are pleasant to touch and hold.
Our wisteria flowers come in late February, early March. We have two different types of wisteria growing on this trellis. One with all white flowers with pale yellow hearts, the other with all purple flowers. They grow in great pendulous clouds, and are covered during the day with countless bees.
The background buzz of the bees can be heard while sitting indoors. If we leave the house, we have to remember to close the doors to prevent stray bees from wandering in and stinging our white pit bull Luna. The poor dear is allergic to bee stings. She shakes and runs if one does manage to get indoors to threaten her.
The bees of course are intent on making seed pods. No, I take that back. They are intent on making honey god knows where in the middle of this post-war subdivision. But the result is the soft green pods, looking pleasant in the late spring early summer light, camouflaged in the press of green leaves.
By fall, the pods have turned light brown, and hang vertically from the vines. The leaves are a mix of green and gold, and some are starting to fall. The leaves that have fallen, form crackly brown drifts on the driveway as they are herded around by the Santa Anas.
Then, after an 8 hour, low humidity, hot day, it begins. The pods self-destruct and sound like firecrackers popping off in the garden. First one, then another. The pods explode and disseminate their seeds far and wide on the process. Here’s a video provided by Ricci Landscaping, Inc.
Upon inspection, each half of a pod is hard and stiff, and wants to twist about 180 degrees. That’s where the energy comes from to cause the explosion.
Anyway, that’s the sign that fall has arrived. It comes as fire and exploding pods.
Fall is here and impeachment is in the air. If only we can get rid of the orange monster before he does anymore damage to our nation.
As always – Vote. Vote as if your future depended on it.