Thursday, 12 March 2015


I’m in California. Over the last two months we’ve had a couple of rainy nights. Otherwise it's been blue skies day after day. It was almost boring, except that I’m Canadian, and we are never bored by good weather.

Of course Californian weather isn’t always like that. There are earthquakes, like Northridge 1994, and I can tell you (courtesy of yesterday’s LA Times) that the San Andreas Fault is most likely to host the next big one. HOST an earthquake -- I like their genteel wording.

If you want to prepare your kids, reviewer Scott Holleran recommends a fun quake book, called Earthquake! It’s part of Simon & Schuster’s Natural Disasters Series. Now that’s gotta be fun, right?

But my go-to man for Californian weather is Wallace Stegner.
  • Montana, he explains, doesn’t seem to have the same kind of boom because they haven’t got that much sunshine. But even Stegner admits that the weather in California isn’t always sunny.
  • There are days when there is no bland sky, no cool morning overcast, no placid afternoons fading into chilly evening. It's practically North Sea weather.The sky boils with cloud, the sun glares out now and then like the opening eye of a doped patient.
  • But the birds make up for the bad weather.The field next door is suddenly full of robins who arrive like blown leaves, picnic awhile, and depart all together as if summoned.

BUT, I hear you grumble, Stegner wrote the old-fashioned way – books, that is. If you are past that stage, I can recommend a Facebook page called Bad Weather California with 2314 likes. It’s actually a fan page for a band, but it has nice pictures of California hosting bad weather.

Or, your can check out the Wikipedia list of California hurricanes. The one I like best is the hurricane that was reconstructed as just missing landfall in 1858. Reconstructed hurricanes are always better than real ones, don’t you agree?  

(These admittedly scattered thoughts have been inspired by Stegner’s Spectator Bird and his Conversations on History & Literature)

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