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Originally from End of the Day from My Word with Douglas E. Welch

The high temperatures here in the San Fernando Valley don’t seem to indicate it, but Summer is on the wane. The Autumnal Equinox that marks the beginning of Fall is less than a month away on September 22, 2014. Of course, our Mediterranean climate doesn’t reflect the typical seasons I grew up with in Ohio, but I do look forward to the change in seasons all the same. After 28 years here I often joke that we do have 4 seasons in Los Angeles, but both Spring and Fall are about 2 weeks long. Spring jumps into Summer and Fall quickly to Winter, once the rains arrive.

Nature shows Summer's End - End of the Day for August 24, 2014

Even if we amy not feel it, though, nature feels the changing of the seasons and displays the indicators clearly. Walking home from an errant today I noticed our neighbor’s tree was bursting with pomegranates that were both ripe and near ripe. This is a sure sign of Fall — trees and plants setting and spreading seed. I posted a short video of liquidambar seed pods I collected here in the neighborhood a few days ago. After only 4 days on my desktop they went from green and tightly closed to dry, brown and literally bursting with seeds. As the pods dry, they pop open and spread their seeds over large areas. I’ll take these seeds I collected, stash them in the fridge to “stratify” them i.e. make them think they have passed through Winter, and then plant them in pots to create some new trees.

I gathered many more seeds on my walk yesterday. There were more liquidambar seed pods, similar looking sycamore pods, mimosa tree seeds, a few crape myrtle seeds and some pine cones. I plan on processing all these seeds and seeing what I can grow here in the garden. Propagating seeds, cuttings and making new plants is one of my favorite things to do in the garden, so this time of year is always a great time. There is so much to be gathered as most plants start to finish up their growing year before going dormant, or, at least, slowing down. I think I already have the reputation of being the odd gardening guy who’s always taking photographs of flowers and plants, but at this time of year they also see me hunting and gathering, which probably seems very odd in this highly urban area. Still, it is a fun, cheap way to entertain myself and grow some new additions to the garden.

Previously on End of the Day: