Wednesday, January 30, 2008


June, the Monthly Mania
by Heart in Hand*
28 ct antique ivory linen
with the recommended flosses

I think I chose to stitch this series because I liked June's dragonfly so much. But at the time I bought them, I was living in L.A., and I thought it was very un-June**.

People like to say that Los Angeles doesn't have seasons. This is bullshit. There is summer, but it is not endless. In the late fall there is Santa Ana season (often confused with fire season). The dry, often hot, winds have been written about most eloquently by Joan Didion in Slouching Toward Bethlehem. What I like most about them is that they scrub the air clean. When we'd get on the 10 to go to work, we'd come around the curve on the La Cienega on-ramp and a mountain would appear. The rest of the year it was shrouded by smog but during the windy season visibility was so high you could remember that Los Angeles was surrounded by hills and mountains. The worst part of the winds was they'd blow out the pilot in our in-floor heater, and we'd have to go through complicated machinations involving a wire hanger, scotch tape, and wooden matches to relight it. Other people think the winds are bad because they sound haunting (said to drive people insane), raise dirt, and fan fires. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the fires were worse than the dude and I getting a little cold, but you get the idea that this is not a pleasant season. Winter is brief and rainy. So brief, in fact, that many Angelenos forget every year that it rained the same two to three weeks last February. A lot of rain, with a lot of drivers who cannot drive in the rain. Because rainy season followed fire season, there were much worse ramifications than being behind some slow driver on the freeway or ahead of a speeding driver on the surface streets. Still. L.A. had weather, and it could be nasty. Then, there was June Gloom.

I often told our guests that June was not a good month to visit***. They insisted on coming to L.A. in June anyway and then spent their vacation complaining about the weather. Every day in June begins foggy and cloudy, sometimes drizzly. Depending how close to the ocean you are, the sun would eventually burn off the cloud layer and you have a halfway decent day. The closer to the ocean, the longer it takes, and some days are gloomy all day long. This made June the longest and most depressing month. (Kind of like November for New Englanders.) In fact, when Bent Creek released their monthly snappers+, "May Blooms" I thought surely would be followed by June Gloom. It turns out they went with "April Glooms" and "June Zooms." Angelenos would definitely have to reverse the two.

But now I am back on the east coast where we have seasons that are considered standard, and dragonflies may or may not zoom in June.

*Brave Astronaut, have the best pal check out these possibilities for the other Decembers: Snow and January. There's the whole set of Wee Santas too.
**it occurs to me that this is a problem faced by the entire southern hemisphere
***Visit in October or April.
+someone really has to tell them what a snapper is


Barbara said...

999? I'm thinking of that (awful!) Beatles song that endlessly repeats 'number nine, number nine, number nine'. God, it's going to be hours before I can get that out of my head!

C in DC said...

And don't forget El Nino. It was the worst 6 weeks of winter I've ever experienced (it was cold and raining every day for the entire 6 weeks), and I'm from near Buffalo and lived through the two week blizzard of '77.

Adrienne said...

In Upstate NY, we get dragonflies in June. And in July, mostly.

Texas had oddly similar weather to LA -- but about 9 times hotter in the summer. Our winds often came from Canada, simply because there is nothing to stop them. Fall was one day -- you'd go to bed when it was windy on a day in January. When you woke up, all the leaves, which had died during the summer, were heaped up on your porch. Good times.

Mindi said...

I sort of liked the marine layer in the summer! I was a bit north of Santa Barbara, and was always amazed at how the temperature would change 20 degrees just by driving 10 miles inland.

Michelle said...

A lot of people think we don't have seasons here in Texas either, but we do. They aren't like New England seasons, but they do exist. Of course, we get the weirdness of Monday it will be 70 and then Tuesday it will be 40.