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Autumn in the San Francisco Bay Area

Autumn came to the Bay Area within the last week. The seasons (we have 2, wet and dry) sneak up on you here, because you get accustomed to a “sameness” (not monotony) of the *wonderful* weather here. In Livermore, the high temperature has been around 70 ℉, which the meteorologist on TV last night told me was about 14 ℉ **below** normal for this time of year. I often tell folks from other parts of the country and the world that October is a wonderful month to visit here, since the weather is exceptionally nice, San Francisco can be comparatively fog-free (in contrast to summer, which occasionally finds tourists shivering in shorts and T-shirts near the Golden Gate Bridge, as the fog rolls in at 3 PM :-) ), and there can be a odd mixture of deciduous trees starting to “turn colors” and flowers blooming at the same time. This last phenomenon, fall colors with blooming flowers, is taken for granted by Bay Area residents, but “blows away” visitors from harsher climates. It really surprised me when we moved here, as did the fruit trees bearing fruit in the middle of “winter”.

Those of you from a “Mediterranean Climate” may find it much the same, since that is the type of climate that we have here. Those of you from lands of ice and snow may want to visit! :-) It is possible, to travel from the Bay Area in wintertime (not yet!) to play in the snow in the mountains (or sometimes in nearby hills) and then travel to watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean from a beach on the same day. I have done this myself.

What does autumn mean to the photographer? Beside the changing colors of the deciduous trees (I am looking at maple trees on the street behind my house as I write this, and they are starting to turn yellow and red), one of the photographic features of autumn and winter is the *sky*. The sky in some areas, like mine, can be blue and cloudless in the summer, but in the autumn and winter there are clouds (cumulus right now, against a blue sky), that add to the visual interest of photographs, and can make for spectacular sunsets. I know, sunsets are photographically trite, but they are beautiful and uplifting nevertheless. :-) Cloudless blue skies can be photographically uninteresting, but they can never get monotonous….

One of the events in the Bay Area that is occurring right now is Fleet Week (October 4-9).
The Blue Angels aerial team was practicing around San Francisco yesterday, in preparation for this weekend’s activities.

Fleet Week is another of those events that is commonplace and under-appreciated by folks who have lived in the Bay Area all of their lives, but is quite an unusual event for those of us who grew up as “landlocked” Mid-Westerners. I guess the tradeoff is that many folks here (especially the “bicoastal” folks) are relatively unfamiliar with America’s Great Lakes, which are like great inland seas (especially Lake Superior) of fresh water, with “bragging rights” all their own.

High barometric pressure should settle in over the weekend and make for gorgeous weather for those who wish to photograph Fleet Week or any of the other too-numerous-to-mention features of the Bay Area.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo

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