Today’s the first day of a week off, meaning no 3-hour commute for 5 days! To celebrate, yesterday, I decided to take a hike … The day was Fall-ish in a warm, bright, verging-on-Santa-Ana-conditions kinda way, and perfect for brisk walking. Starting out, sundown’s about an hour off and I’m loving the intermittent warm gusts … I can’t help but notice that those symbols of Riverside — the palm trees — seem to be loving the wind, too. In my neighborhood, the sun dips behind Mt. Rubidoux (and lesser mounds) early, so we’re in shadow long before the sun’s actual setting. But, the palms stand tall enough to avoid this deep shade and bask in the sunlight longer than some shorter trees. This group, above, seems to be discussing the day’s events as I approach the Mt. Rubidoux historic homes district. Swaying, they stand around discussing the day’s events with that easy familiarity that comes from being together for years and years.
Rounding the bend overlooking the bike path, this trio towers over me. They’re whispering to each other as they sashay lazily in the breezes. More stand-offish, these three are aloof in that way too-tall, too-skinny beauties tend to be.
At Fairmount Park now, and just off the bike path, this gathering of bearded old men would appear to be looking down on the guy with the camera. Feeling judged suddenly, I take my shot and keep it moving …
At a lakeside inlet, some shapely numbers lean in to see what all the shooting’s about. They’re probably wondering where the anglers are … usually a popular fishing spot, I’m the only one here this bright Fall afternoon.
Behind a park facilities building, a tall group of palms shows signs of fire damage. Standing stoic, their trunks have blackened surfaces, but they seem none the worse for wear. Adding insult to injury, various numskulls have pledged their love, allegiances, and herbal affections by scratching them into the palm’s charred flesh.
Outside the park, this full-headed palm makes a strikingly handsome silhouette. A perfectly classic shape, it seems to stare across the street at its mirror-image. These two stand like stocky greeters on a diagonal sidestreet in the historic district.
Heading closer to the bridge that leads back to my side of the mount, the sun’s almost fully obscured now. The street’s various palms seem to have gathered to bid farewell to the day’s final light. Some stand erect, while others bend toward the waning rays reverently.
On the bridge now, I’m met by this hula-skirted trio. With their swishy skirts and funny topknots they’re definitely not taking all this sundown-stuff as seriously as their compatriots … in a few more steps, the evening’s darker, if not exactly cooler … it’s Fall, my favorite season.
Palms have come to be equated with Southern California, and Riverside lives up to that image with many different palm tree varieties lining the streets and punctuating neighborhoods. Visiting Riverside as a kid I noticed these trees and came to associate them with this town I live in now … I loved their singular qualities then, and I love them now.