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All night long I could hear my wind chimes pealing wildly outside the window, the unmistakable sign that Santa Ana winds have returned. It's very bright today (the winds scrub all the pollution from the sky.) Sometimes the winds slow to a steady 15 mph 'lull', then without warning they'll leap to 40+ mph gusts, howling around the edges of the house and sending trees bending and swaying wildly. What little actual soil sits on our sandy ground will be scoured away, the shade garden will appear unusually bright due to leaves that have been blasted off the trees, and the soft, fragile leaves of the angel's trumpet will hang limp and shredded in the breath between gusts. Later, in the afternoon when the winds will have died down (at least temporarily), huge drifts of pine needles will have built up along the west side of tree-shaded Arneill Road. Out in the vegetable fields south of town, tumbleweeds will cling to west-facing fences.

There is, however, something invigorating about a storm that comes with floods of sunshine and blue skies instead of gray skies and chill air... provided, of course, that the current winds don't spark any wildfires. My fingers are crossed.


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