Autumn in Santa Barbara is not like any autumn I’ve ever experienced. It feels like summer, minus the long, light evenings. But there is still a change in the air, however slight it may seem to this British born lass, used to living in windy Wellington, New Zealand, for well over a decade!
There are warm winds blowing in and shorter days. The friendly lizards aren’t so visible, when the sun hides its light. The blue sky still stays, with little variation, during the day. Clouds are something to be excited about – but rarely offer the same magnificence of the type we are used to – and rain is still something we’ve not seen in the past two months we’ve been living here.
But the season of ‘Fall’ is evident, in the plentiful pumpkins to be found everywhere, the harvest festivals and pumpkin patches (complete with bouncy castles and elaborate scare-crows) and, most mesmerising of all, there are Monarch Butterflies; drifting in from the western Rockies, over 2,500 miles away, to rest for the winter.
These incredible butterflies have always held me captivated – from when my children were young and we planted our own butterfly garden in New Zealand to encourage them to linger and repopulate on the Swan Plants we planted next to colourful flowers to attract them.
Now, as I experience my first autumn here in Santa Barbara, California, I am delighted to see them in the garden of the beautiful property we are currently staying.
I have had a tough time recently, on the mental health front, which I shan’t go into (though rest assured I shall soon be on the mend, thanks to wonderful friends, a great husband, caring neighbours and a kind doctor) and having a moment to appreciate these beautiful creatures really helped me this week.
I hope you enjoy reading this, as much as I enjoyed writing it xxx