It’s snowing in Los Angeles.
Despite what many people think, Los Angeles does have its seasons. There’s rainy season, usually January to April, with some years wetter than others. There’s earthquake weather, when the days are almost unbearably warm and the nights are cooler than normal. There are the weeks when the Santa Ana winds come rushing through the city and those with allergies go into hiding, while the rest of us bask in the balmy, sexy nights and dream of skinny dipping. And then there’s now, these few brief weeks in May and June when the Jacarandas are in bloom and the wind shakes their purple blooms loose and the ground beneath their feet is covered in drifts of purple snow.
I’d never seen a Jacaranda until I moved to LA though I’d heard of them (they’ve got a mention in It’s A Wonderful Life when Mary hides herself under a Jacaranda when George steps on her bathrobe and accidentally disrobes her after the pool soaked dance at the high school on the eve of Harry’s graduation. Interestingly, as a tropical tree, it’s unlikely that they would grow in a snow-laden climate.) Gnarled and gothic, they’re the true native trees of Los Angeles (as opposed to the Palm Tree, a stowaway from Hawaii).
A solitary tree is beautiful; a grove of them is breathtaking. If you’re in Los Angeles at this time of year, check out the clusters along 6th Street, between Hauser and LaBrea; on Burton Way, as it folds into Beverly Hills; and, along San Vicente in Brentwood.