When It’s Cold In Orange County

I hate cold weather.  I don’t do well, when it’s cold.

What’s “cold,” by my standards?

If the temperature drops below 72F/22C I consider it cold.  (Yes, I know I’m spoiled rotten in the weather department – but warm temps are all I’ve ever known.)

March is always one of the coldest/wettest month here.  Over the weekend, our first big storm of the year arrived.

Photo:  Dark storm clouds and snow capped (!) Saddleback Mountain.

It was a chilly weekend.  My car thermometer read 53F yesterday, and it obviously got even colder than that because we had hail (!!!) in my backyard.

Photo:  Hail in Orange County!

The hail promptly melted, but still ….

What do I do when it rains and/or is cold?


Absolutely nothing.

A fireplace is lit, and I immediately begin hibernating ….

Except –

I did come out of hibernation long enough to see some dolphins playing in the (cold!) ocean.

Photo:  Dolphins swimming and playing.

The Pacific Ocean ate the lens hood of my 70-200 lens while I photographed the dolphins.

I wasn’t very happy about that.

(At least it wasn’t the lens itself, or my camera!)

Our zillions of hummingbirds didn’t seem the least fazed by the cold/rain/hail.

Photo:  Hummingbird at our feeder during the storm.

Are you impressed with the wildlife I’m surrounded by?

No …?

There was a LOT of water running off the mountains into the canyon/ponds/lakes as a result of our unusual weather.

Photo:  Storm run-off heading to my little Orange County lake.

It sounded like a river was rushing right through my house.  (Not a sound I hear very often!)

We really need rain here, so I guess forfeiting one weekend to bad weather is okay.

My only must-do project for the weekend was getting my earthbox ready to plant.

Are you familiar with earthboxes?

An earthbox is pretty much a complete kit for a small container garden.  (Minus whatever you choose to plant.)  I bought mine at a local nursery, but you can also order them online.  One of my readers, who’s recovering from cancer treatment, told me about them.  He’s not up to his normal gardening this year.  When he learned about earthboxes, he thought of me.  The idea is to make gardening easier than it would be otherwise.  Since I’m a one-armed-wonder, I thought I’d give it a try.  If I can get my family cooperating enough to help (so far – so good!), I might invest in a second earthbox and grow a few tomatoes.

I prepped my earthbox in the garage due to the weather.  And by “I prepped” I mean, I watched Briefcase put together the stand for my earthbox.  (A stand is optional but we have wild bunnies in our yard and they eat EVERYTHING.  I thought a stand would be a good way to keep my herbs out of bunny-reach.)

I also supervised Briefcase filling the container with dirt for me.  This was a big deal because my husband has no interest, whatsoever, in gardening.

I put the organic fertilizer in the earthbox myself – which absolutely makes it “my” garden.

I will be planting basil and cilantro in just a few days.  And by saying “I will be planting,” I mean I will supervise as my son plants the cilantro and basil I’ve already bought.

(This is as close to gardening as I can get with my bum arm.)

I have rosemary growing in my yard already.

I was so busy being lazy all weekend, I didn’t get everything done I had planned.

Upcoming SOON from a blog near you:

•  Information about re-connecting with a drummer from my past.

•  A look at beautiful Muir Woods, from my recent trip to San Francisco.  (I posted one Muir Woods photo yesterday.)

•  Answers to reader questions.  I have very inquisitive readers – which is GREAT.

•  One or two possible (minor) changes here on 24 – to help those of you asking for some photography tips/advice.

•  An update on Phoebe – do you remember her?

In addition, this week I’ll be meeting with my web designers (GigaSavvy – love their team!!), Dr. Painless, The Neanderthal, and a friend who works at a popular OC salon.

(Not all at the same time!)

I’ll also be working diligently on making some of my upcoming travel plans for Road Trip 24.

Stay tuned!!

17 Responses to “When It’s Cold In Orange County”

  1. Michelle

    It sounds like you had my kind of weekend, and my kind of gardening. I look forward to seeing photos of your garden.

  2. Rebecca Schorr

    I loved seeing this stunning photos. We moved to PA from Orange County this past August. So seeing these pictures reminded me of the beautiful home we left…

  3. Suzanne Young

    Hi suzanne –

    One more question re: photography to add to your list. What does the lens hood do and why do you need it? Thanks!

  4. Jan's Sushi Bar

    I’m VERY envious of your wildlife (except the bunnies…unless you care to trap and mail them to me so I can cook them). Is Phoebe nesting in your pool again this year?

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      The bunnies are very cute with their white, fluffy, cottontails. EXCEPT – they destroy everything they can get their big long teeth into.
      Phoebe is TRYING to nest in our pool.
      And we are trying to deter her.
      She’s winning the battle.

  5. Judi

    I’ll be very jealous if you can get your cilantro to grow well. I’ve tried several times and it always bolts before I get any good stuff to eat. Luckily the Persian market near our house sells it at 5 or 6 bunches for $1.

    The rain wasn’t as bad at our house (no hail) but it sure was crazy windy.

    That first photo looks like you took the picture from the middle of a stream – very cool.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      I’ve tried cilantro before, and it hasn’t done too well. It needs a LOT of sun and my yard gets shade about half the day. We’ll see ….! : )

      We got a lot of wind in my canyon too!

  6. Anne

    I think container gardening is just great. They are so easy to take care of, and it’s wonderful that you can get all these male persons to help. Who knows, they might even take an interest in what grows someday.

  7. Geogypsy

    Not bad for an inside weekend, except for the sound of running water–even though needed–and threat of floods or slides.

    I don’t do cold well either. This weekend we got dumped with at least 8″ of snow. Just glad I didn’t have to go out anywhere.

    Although I’m not much of a green thumb, container growing is great, especially on a stand/table. Wish I could do that at the canyon but would also need a complete enclosure to keep out the squirrels, birds and deer.

    Enjoy your busy week.

  8. Neeroc

    Heh, after the whining I was doing at you on Twitter last week, I’ll admit it was 78F here yesterday (sorry but it may be the only time EVER an Ottawan can gloat about temperatures to a Californian *g*)! Normal temps for us are around 39F so I was doing a little dance. The crazy weather is making for some awesomely foggy mornings as the ground thaws.

  9. Mama Bub

    Ha! I love the cold. I was so happy when it was cold and rainy recently that I practically threw a party. I’ve lived in Orange County all of my life, but I don’t think I was meant to live here!


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