Winter in a Mediterranean climate

We live in one of a small number of places in the world with a Mediterranean climate, which means, among other things, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. In our part of California, winter feels much more like spring. In the cool air and the rains that fall after six months of dry air, heat and sun, little tender green grasses, sorrels, and mints blanket the wet earth. The hills turn from bitten gray-brown to loden and then emerald green. The dark mornings and early nightfalls of the December holidays and the letdown period of January aren’t a time of cold, stillness and snow, but of renewal, with frosty mornings and brisk days. Deciduous trees are bare, but paperwhite narcissus and a few roses are blooming in my yard, along with winter daphne, and on my walks I see occasional winter iris, grape hyacinth, and crocus.

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