Here on the west coast, Winter Solstice began shortly before 10:00 AM. today, December 21st, the shortest day of the year.
The rains came and threats of drought have receded. Snowpacks in the High Sierras are building up. Good news, not only for skiers; after two years of below-average precipitation water levels in the reservoirs were pitifully low.
Some trees in the neighborhood still have leaves but after each storm they look a little more bare. It is a pleasure to walk through the woods. The dampness is so much in contrast to the warm weather. Water running in the local creeks; wild mushrooms abundant.
Come, come thou bleak December wind,
And blow the dry leaves from the tree!
-- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834, Fragment 3
Leaves under Gingko Tree, Sunnyvale, California
Buckeye Creek, Foothill Park, Palo Alto California
Roof top decoration - San Mateo, California
On a rainy afternoon
And enshrouded by fog
A leafless tree at dusk