I spotted workers trimming the palm trees at lunch today. In Irvine, that involves a bucket crane and a chainsaw, with a couple of guys on the ground to pick up the fallen fronds and pile them off to the side.

Trimming the palm fronds, mainland style

This contrasted heavily in my mind with the tree trimmers I saw in Hawaii, where a guy would shimmy up a palm tree with a rope and a machete, then hack away.

Trimming the palm fronds, Hawaii style.

I saw them rotating the crane to move the guy to a new tree, so I’m sure the mainland style trimming gets done faster than the island style… but then, we’re always in such a hurry here. Too bad we can’t do our landscaping on island time.

Despite what you might believe, tumbleweeds are actually quite common in suburban Southern California. They often grow by the side of the freeway, occasionally getting picked up by the wind and bouncing across cars.

Never is this more noticeable than during the Santa Ana winds, which seasonally sweep out from the desert to the coast, blowing over trees, knocking out power lines, and sending the smog out to sea. (Unfortunately, by the second or third day, all the dust from the desert has taken its place.) The two of us got some great shots from the most recent Santa Anas which hit during the week leading up to Thanksgiving.

Tumbleweed by the side of the road.
A tumbleweed seeks relief at a fire hydrant.

Downed tree in parking lot.
Even a support stake couldn’t keep this tree up.

Tumbleweeds in the *middle* of the road.
Hey! Get off the road! (Yes, tumbleweeds can get that big.)