The Hills of Sillicon Valley is GREEN

I visited the bay area many times (), but most of them are in summer. I was surprised to see the hills of the valley is green! All the previous visit showed me yellow mountains. With the blue sky, white cloud, green grass land, and cows scattered on the green grass, I drive along the I-280 and wind with the mountains, I just have the feeling of Jacke entering the Pandora jungle. Besides all the great inspiration, and good weather, the bay area can be good tourism destination – very like the mountains I see near Tibet area.

I heard the grass will only be green for about one month, and when the raining season is over, they will turn yellow again (11 months out of the year). This is the first place I know where grass turn green in winters, and yellow in summers.

One meteorology question: how come bay area is so warm when its longitude is as high as 37&degree, it is warmer in the winter than Shanghai, which is just a little bit north of 31°ree;? Is it because of the ocean? (Shanghai is at the ocean too!)

11 thoughts on “The Hills of Sillicon Valley is GREEN

  1. I think the temperature difference is due to the prevailing winds. All wind tends to blow from West to East. So Shanghai gets the air from the land, but California gets the air from the ocean which moderates the temperature, so California’s coastal cities are cooler in summer than many more northerly cities.

    (Is “northerly” a word?)

  2. One month only? I think it’s like three months. Bicycling on Milpitas Blvd to work in the morning and watching the low clouds rolling on top of the green hills is a very wondrous feeling. We did get snow a few months ago so it was white hills.

  3. Bay area gets green from late Nov through mid-March, a period considered as the rainy season. This is also a good time for skiing in Lake Tahoe.

    The time between early-March through early-April is most interesting, because all the wild followers bloom for several rounds. If you hike on the Santa Cruz Mountain above Palo Alto, you can see this in the years with lots of winter rain:

    BTW, the default “bliss” theme of windows XP was shot in the bay area.

  4. The grass is green when there’s water and warmth. Grass does not care if it’s winter or summer, they care about water and temperature. :P

    Yes most west coast will be warmer than east coast, cause the west wind around mother earth brings warm current from the equator to west coast, and cold water from each pole to the equator along east coast. Seattle, Vancouver and San Francisco Bay area are typical west coast climate – warm and humid during winter, dry and clear during summer. The valley is lucky ( or maybe I should say unlucky ) to be between mountains, moisture from the ocean can only get to the east side hills.

    If you got a chance, take 580 East until you got to the east side hills, and you will find those wind turbine fascinating. Driving on High Way 1 or 101 along the coast during summer time would be great, too, when you can enjoy wild flower, ocean and bikini babes.

  5. @Zheng, when I was in Australia, at many places, I said to Wendy, this is exactly like Windows XP desktop, and these days in the bay area also gave me the feeling. The Wikipedia page about bliss told me that the place where the photo was taken is somewhere near 3050 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476. It is about 1 and half hour drive north, and should give it a try when we have enough time.

    In the bay area, I only explored along I280, US101, and have never tried I380 or I580 area. Should give it a try later. Now when I started to use priceline and can be always surprised by what they gave me, and give me a chance to explore the area.

  6. “I heard that Vancouver is very cold in winters, and Toronto is warmer. Is it the truth? ”

    It’s not true! It is other way around.

    Victoria and Vancouver of BC are most likely the warmest cities in the entire Canada during the winter season.

  7. The ocean has something to do with SJ’s mild climate but I don’t totally understand how it works. It’s warmer here in the winter than it is in Washington DC, but both cities are at the same latitude. And the Atlantic is warmer than the Pacific. Furthermore, it’s cooler here in summer than in DC. Basically somehow we have a more moderate climate. Which is fantastic!

  8. I’ve lived in the area for over 40 years and March is the best month — the golden state of our state is OK – but in March the hills become Irish – best place to spend St. Paddy’s day. My husband and I spent several hours today hiking and driving in the mountains North/East of San Jose – there are so many plants that make the hills green – and the cows do look very contented. True = it will be golden in a few weeks, but it’s a feast for the eyes and soul while it lasts.

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