Friday, August 15, 2008

Summer Night



Global warming notwithstanding, Los Angeles area residents are lucky when it comes to weather. Okay, there are the occasional earthquakes. And the smog. And the alternating droughts/floods with ensuing fires/mudslides. But other than that … it’s pretty great to be here year round . Usually, it’s around 76 degrees. Even with 90-something summer days, the evenings cool off enough to put on a light sweater and the relative humidity is low enough that we rarely see mosquitoes. Native Californians will argue with me on this last point. But I grew up in Texas where the humidity is just shy of swamp and the mosquitoes are the size of police helicopters. (In the greater Los Angeles area we just have the actual police helicopters. But usually they don’t bite.)

When my family moved from our beach-adjacent location on the west side here to South Pasadena on the east side, I was convinced the hotter weather would be a terrible shock. Temperatures in the sprawling Los Angeles region can vary by 20 degrees depending on whether you are in Santa Monica or downtown, Culver City or Northridge, and South Pasadena is one of the hotter spots. But so far my first South Pas summer has been lovely. A brief heat wave in June, and temperate, wonderful summer ever since. Some nights lately have been downright chilly.

I saw these two stopped in front of the library around 10:00PM one warmer evening, giggling into a cell phone and glowing under that streetlamp. Here’s to summer nights.

17 comments:

Hilda said...

Sounds lovely!

The humidity in the Philippines is awful — if it's not raining, we've got hot, muggy weather.

JM said...

Yes, summer nights are great, although i think they are much more inpredictable then before... as everything else nowadays...
Lovely light on your picture!
Greetings

Virginia said...

Great photo, captures the essence of summer. The light is just great. Mosquitoes? You want to talk mosquitoes??? We have that humidity/mosquito thing down put here in Alabama.

Jutilda said...

At first I didn't notice the girl on the right but delving into the shot, the late evening glow really adds a beautiful ambiance to them both. I oftentimes don't like the yellow created by light bulbs, but it puts the whole scene under a nice warm blanket. You can't go wrong with a bicycle in a shot either. I think it is my favorite "prop" ever. Oh, that, and an umbrella. :~)

Wayne said...

Which raises the question of which is more annoying. Mosquitos or teenagers on cellphones?

I can't remember the last time I was bitten by a mosie in Vancouver.

Irina Netchaev said...

Laurie, love the shot... it captures the essence of summer and South Pasadena's family community.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Ohio weather sounds exactly like that you described for Texas.

Except this August it is cool, (50s) and gets warm (up to 70s and low 80s) with no rain and no humidity. It is lovely, and even better than paradise in Hawaii.

Steve Buser said...

Laurie --The golden hour of photography and youth. Good shot.

I spent 20 years in Texas on the coast and no one ever asked what the humidity was -- it was alway at least 100%.

The story goes about three Texans putting each other down. They were from Amarillo, El Paso and Houston.

The told the guy from El Paso -- "we could never live there it is too cold." He replies. "it is cold, because the wind blows from the North Pole and there is nothing to slow it down. But it is a a dry cold, which makes it not so bad."

They turned to the guy from El Paso and said the heat there would make it impossible to live. "It is hot." he says. "You don't even need a stove because you can fry anything you want on the sidewalk. But it's a dry heat, which makes it bearable."

The two turned to the Houstonian and put down his city for the amount of rain down there. "It rains all the time," he says. "In fact, nobody looks up, because you would get so much rain in your mouth you would drown."

"But," he added, "It's not as bad as you think because it is kind of a dry rain."

Petrea said...

So glowy, golden and blue! Reminds me of my own teenage summer nights.

Knoxville Girl said...

This reminds me of an Edward Hopper painting - I think because of the clean lines and straightforward colors. I like this one a lot.

ken mac said...

Beautiful colors. Feels like..8:30?

angela said...

Lovely atmospheric photo, conjures up those summer nights..
Mosquitos: I'm sitting here at my computer being eaten alive..

Dixie Jane said...

I really love the golden glow. Reminds me of summer nights long ago. I played, "kick the can" under a street light.

Laurie said...

Hi everyone,

Welcome Ken mac, Irina and jm! Thanks for so many nice comments.

I have been having a lot of fun taking night shots lately. Partly because night is when my husband is home and I can get a break from my 3 year old. But mostly because I find that digital is so different from film when it comes to night images. I love the images I can get that I never got with my film camera.

Knoxville Girl, thank you so much for the comparison to Hopper. I actually thought the light and the colors looked like a Hopper painting when I shot it so that is ultra way-cool awesome that you mentioned it!

Judy, it's funny because I love yellow light bulb light. In fact, it's one of the reasons I'll be sad to see incandescents phased out. Full spectrum light looks too blue to me.

Steve, you crack me up. Now tell me -- when did you live in Texas? Only a native would know a joke like that!

Thanks for making my blog so alive and interesting everyone! It's absolutely a joy to read your comments.

Per Stromsjo said...

I'm all for summer nights. Love your analysis of mosquitos and helicopters! We have a bit of both actually. When it gets too warm in Stockholm, I stay indoor during the day and take my camera for nightly strolls instead.

Laurie said...

Per, I guess it's silly but I never imagine Stockholm getting hot!

Per Stromsjo said...

We're not talking deserts around here obviously but a warm summer day can get... warm. My friends would laugh now, I'm sort of known for my lack of enthusiasm about warm weather. Yours truly is the first one to flee indoors when the heat is on... ;)