I took this shot a couple of weeks ago, before the storms rolled in. I believe those gorgeous trees are flowering pears. I always associate them with February, and the unforgettable scent of mock orange trees. Although the mock orange tree is not as showy as others, it manages to upstage everything else that blooms with a heady fragrance that rivals the sultriest night blooming jasmine.
Cherry trees have also begun making winter blossoms. Soon, the purple jacarandas will begin to dazzle and then drop lilac petals all over the streets. By spring, the crape myrtle trees will start making flowers that will last the summer.
Take that, New England. Fall foliage is great and everything, but just look at our winter flowers!
(And just try to beat that classic San Gabriel Valley topiary tree at the end of the street...)