Travel | Northern California’s Mediterranean Climate

I just returned from a project in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  There was quite a contrast between snowy Virginia and Modesto when I returned.  Although the two cities are almost the same Latitude, (a little over 36º N) Modesto has a Mediterranean climate thanks to the protection of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada Ranges on our North and East, respectively. Here is a slide show I put together showing the type of vegetation that thrives in Modesto, and most of the lower altitudes of Northern California, in the winter

ModestoMarch2015

17 thoughts on “Travel | Northern California’s Mediterranean Climate

  1. By the way, I wanted to let you know, the gentleman who is visiting this weekend was taken from Alaska when he was a child and placed in a Resident School in Minnesota. His experiences there are nothing short of horrifying. He is a great elder – talented musician and artist, gifted speaker and writer, perpetual humor. He and his wife will be hosting the Restoration of Honor in SoCal. I hope you are having a blessed week, Sir!

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  2. Wow. You are right. This is a unique and wonderful exchange. I really have been enjoying your stories. Seems like our experiences are similar. Your friend Bobby must have been quite a man. Makes me realize how much things have changed in the past few decades. No one would even for a second consider firing someone for being gay today; and to fire someone for defending their friend? Incredible what we have seen in our lifetime, eh?

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  3. That is beautiful! Well told, too. I was picturing it all in my head as I read it. My wife tells a story of her grandmother’s childhood. Her grandmother grew up in Canyon, TX, about 20 miles south of Amarillo. Apparently, when her grandmother would go outside to play, her mother (full-blood Cherokee) would warn her to “stay away from the Indians.” “Why, mama, you’re Indian!” “Don’t you tell anybody that!” It is an endearing story, but also sad to hear the truth of the prevailing attitudes of those days; and unfortunately still more of a problem than it should be.

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    1. OMG, We should turn this exchange into an article for both our blogs. Here’s one directly apropos of your wife’s. When I was working at Bank of Stockton, I was trying to go to Law School in Sacramento, 50 miles away. A long commute to and fro considering all done after 8 hours at the bank. I met an older guy from Turlock, Bobby J. Neal, who agreed to car pool from Stockton to Sac with me. He had kind of an “okie” accent so we started talking about places of origin. Turned out he too was an Oklahoma Choctaw. Later I told my dad in Santa Maria about my commute-buddy. “Well, I’d like to shake his hand,” he exclaimed. “Why?” “When we were in school down in Antlers, the other kids would call us (the N word) so lot’s of Choctaws lied about it or claimed to be Cherokees.”. (Because Choctaws had plantations back in Mississippi and kept slaves. The assumption was that they inter-married with slaves, so no telling who was part African.. The assumption was most-probably correct since Choctaws viewed their plantation slaves more as family & fellow tribal members than as full-on subservients. I see black Choctaws at practically every gathering I go to. 🙂
      Footnote on Bobby J. Neal. I dropped out of Law School but he continued on and passed the Bar. When we were friends, I was barely 30, he over 50. He was already a Colonel in the California National Guard and a Ph.D. and former Professor of Mmamallian Biology at Stanislaus State U. He was drummed out because they were trying to fire a professor for being gay. Bobby stood up for him so they fired him too. He brought a legal action and the local attornery handling the case was so bad, missing deadlines, etc., Bobby had to take over and do all the research himself. That whetted his appetite for the law. He wound up with a Social Security practice in Turlock. His obit was in the Modesto Bee a few years ago.

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  4. Beautiful website for the Choctaw OK branch. If you can make it to the Restoration of Honor, that would be great. There is an RSVP button for that event on the Firekeepers website front page. Have a blessed day, brother.

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    1. Thanks! Another story: This spring, coming back from St. Louis we stopped at Choctaw H.Q. in Durant, OK, bought a bunch of Choctaw-themed t-shirts and stuff from the gift shop for our 4 great-grand kids in Ft. Worth. Their mom’s boy friend is full-blood Lakota-Cheyene mix. We told our oldest grandson “So Eric is Indian, right?” “yes” “Well you’re Indian too.” Eyes get huge. When Eric arrives, all the kids had on their Choctaw shirts. “You’ve got a bunch of little Choctaws running around out there, Eric” He was pleased. “Yeah, I noticed that…”

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  5. Well, yes. Variety in the weather, eh? It is nice to have “sweater-weather” for a while. Of course, it does cause the arthritis to grumble, but not for long. Choctaw! Are you indigenous/First Nations?

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    1. Yep my wife and I are both 1/16 Choctaw which makes our kids the same blood-quantum. She and I have our CDIB cards from the U.S. Dept. of the Interior and both have membership in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. With the great 1930s diaspora out of Oklahoma, there are thousands of Choctaws in California. The recent meeting in Fresno had 3 or 4 hundred. The Chief and Assistant Chief came and spoke about recent developments. There’s usually food, dance exhibitions and taking selfies with the ppl from H.Q. in Durant OK.

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      1. Wow! That is exciting. I did not hear about this gathering. My wife is 1/4 each Lakota and Cherokee. We have a heart for indigenous culture. On 12/22 we are hosting a brother in our home, Dr. Iglahliq Suuqiina, Inuit. He and his wife, Qaumaniq. He will be teaching and leading discussion. Their organization Indigenous Messengers International https://indigenousmessengers.com/ is joining with Firekeepers International https://firekeepersinternational.org to host a Restoration of Honor conference in Thermal, CA, in January.

        Sorry. Didn’t mean for that to sound like a commercial. The native connection is exciting to me.

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        1. Wow, We used to live in Palm Strings. The Coachella Valley in Winter is totally awesome. Maybe we can put that Thermal gathering on our calendar. There are Choctaws in Mississippi who refused to go on the Trail of Tears. Our branch is Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. choctawnation.com

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    1. Yep, we were just in Fresno last month for a Choctaw function at the Civic Center. Beautiful. The Saroyan Theater is a jewel. BTW, Saroyan changed my view of our occasional cold, clammy 38º F, 98% relative-humidity Valley weather. In one of his books he was remembering it fondly, describing the fog as soothing. After sending last winter in St. Louis, skidding on the ice, wearing ear-muffs to avoid frost-bitten ears, running to the stairwell when the tornado sirens go off… I’ll take the 38º and 98% humidity…gladly! Dear Bill, sorry I doubted you…

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  6. Exploring your blog a bit, I noticed the title of this entry. We live in Fresno now, but we lived in Monterey for many years. When we traveled to Israel we were constantly commenting on the common foliage we saw – “Hey! We have that same thing back in California!” Your slide show is wonderful. We have many of the same things in our yards; plus several citrus trees.

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    1. Thank you. Isn’t our weather great! One minister used to point out how much our Central Valley horticulture was mentioned in the Bible: Pomegranate bushes, Olive Groves, Grape Vineyards and more. Our family has ties to Fresno as well. We buried my mother-in-law in the Belmont Cemetery. She used to be in admitting at Sierra Hospital. She admitted William Saroyan for his final time to the hospital. May they both rest in peace.

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