Tuesday, February 04, 2014


At this time of year one should expect chill winds and freezing rain in San Francisco. In the thirty five years that I've been here, that was mostly the norm. From mid-December through March, even as late as April, coldness and wet. Presently California is experiencing a drought, San Francisco has had the warmest January that I can remember. Which is the culminative expression of a pattern that first manifested itself in the last decade.

We no longer have Indian Summer, by the way. Probably due to budgetary constraints. Because EVERYONE knows that Global Warming is just a myth, and unusual cold-spells, judging by the insane gibberish coming out of states far further east, conclusively prove that theories of the world warming up, along with evolution and the origin of species, are just so much hot air.

This afternoon, around tea-time...

Mobs of parrots getting drunk (or very happy indeed) on Purple Leaf Plum blossoms down at Sue Bierman park. Imagine, if you will, rowdy flights of bright green feathered delinquents swooping low over the ground, scattering pedestrians while screeching joyously, then shooting up into the trees to shower pale pink petals in swirling eddies over the grass.

Very beautiful. Nearly the first green I've seen this Spring. The Acacia trees on my block are already blooming, however, and the pale jadeite poof-clusters have opened the allergy season.
They smell faintly like anise.

Parrots, by the way, are not native to the city. But they are thriving most marvelously. That itself does not indicate climate change, but seeing a rain-storm of bright green bodies in the tall bare trees in the centre of the park strongly suggests that they will prosper, and early blooming trees themselves indicate that we're no longer getting the weather we used to have.

The Cherry Headed Conures were first documented on Telegraph Hill well over a decade ago. There are now at least three large flocks of them in the city, and regularly the noise of parrots flying overhead marks their transit across the hills.

I've never seen them so low, or so close-by. Several times they brushed my hair while flying today, and I had to duck aside at least once. There must be something in those blossoms; it can't just be the flower sugars.

*   *   *   *   *

So, how's that arctic convergence or polar vortex or whatever it is working out for you lot on the other side of the continent? Wanna borrow some of Australia's record heat-wave yet?


The Chinatown granny who picks up her eight or nine year old kinswoman after school everyday showed up again at the dimsum place while I was scarfing down a choi-yiuk bao, some siumai, and a haahm sui gok.
The kid ALWAYS has the fresh shrimp cheung fan.
My heavens, that's quite an appetite.
It's a joy to watch.

Shrimp aggravate my gout.
I'm envious of the tyke.
Happy she-punk.

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The Scenic Route said...

Global Warming may actually be myth. The better informed have dropped the phrase in favor of "Climate Change". Which is itself an evasive euphemism. What is growing is "climate Instability" and the effects are becoming ever more prominent and unpredictable. Huge blizzards may not be persuasive of global warming but are solidly consistent with climate instability.

The back of the hill said...

Yes, that's why I used the term 'climate change' in the title of the post rather than 'global warming'.

Clearly weather patterns are becoming less short-term predictable and more extreme.

Things are changing. Actual warming as such may be hard to see. But drought is becoming more common.

Anonymous said...

Love your posts as always. :)

The back of the hill said...

At Anonymous 9:25 PM,

Thank you!

I like hearing such things. And I very much like it when people enjoy my posts.

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