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For some people, winter is the season that is the most difficult. For many who suffer from depression, spring is their nemesis. (Hence “April is the cruellest month”?)

For me, it’s fall. I’m almost always struck with nostalgia, and a desire to go somewhere — anywhere — other than where I am. Even living in a city I love as much as I do Madrid, I find that my feet are getting itchy.

Where would I go? Good question… being as close as I am to North Africa, a Bowlesian interludeĀ is one possibility, assuming that it is still possible to live as they did way back when. Or perhaps to the Central Coast of California, where the summer gloom should have loosened its grip by now. Looking back at the photos I shot when I lived there, there is certainly plenty to recommend. All of these were taken around this time of year…

Little Sur river at Andrew Molera State Park.

Little Sur river at Andrew Molera State Park.

November sunset at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

November sunset at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Point Lobos whaling station

Point Lobos whaling station

Giant kelp at Lover's Point beach

Giant kelp at Lover’s Point beach

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Rubi, weren’t you complaining about the rain in Spain not so long ago?” You’re right. I was.

The thing is, it’s barely rained at all for over a month. The reservoirs are at perilously low levels. And in a city like Madrid, which is prone to a phenomenon called “thermal inversion,” the dust and pollution can reach toxic levels very quickly. We need regular rain to wash the air clean.

So hurrah for the rain! Hurrah for a return to invisible air! Hurrah for not smelling like a tail-pipe when you get home from a walk!

Just don’t stick around for ever, rain.

Snowdrops in the garden… the neighbor kids playing on their tree swing… amorous turkeys in the garden.

Thelma and the end-product of all that romance, 2008 edition

About that last one. Leaving the house this morning, I heard the unmistakable sound of a turkey gobbling. We have a local hen, known in the neighborhood as Thelma, so I figured it was her. As I drove around the corner, I saw that I’d guessed correctly — mostly. There was little, drab Thelma, surrounded by five (!) toms in all their glory, tail feathers fanned, mobbing her like some sort of Turkey Rules Rugby scrum. My first instinct was to feel bad for the poor girl, and then I stopped myself. When was the last time I’d seen that kind of attention from one guy, let alone five?

Pity morphed into envy, at lightning speed.

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