Haiku: Santa Ana Winds

a wind-stripped tree - Santa Ynez Valley, CA
a wind-stripped tree - Santa Ynez Valley, CA | Source

From Fall through Spring, cold air from the desert mesas creates high pressure areas and brings powerful downdrafts through canyons and mountain passes.

The "devil winds" of So. California

In September through May Southern Californians prepare for the inevitable Santa Anas, the hot and dry winds which originate in the high deserts and move downward through the mountains toward the Pacific Ocean. They often put residents on edge because of wildfire threat, property damage from downed trees and power lines, respiratory problems, and the negative mood effects from the wind's positive ions. Gusts can exceed 80mph as the downdrafts are forced through narrow passes. Typically, these gusts are strongest from dusk to mid-morning. In areas already bone-dry from triple-digit summer heat, these winds can send a spark from a power line into dry grass and stoke a raging inferno within minutes. The blustery conditions further hamper efforts of firefighters and helicopters to squelch flames and put them in harm's way with unpredictable air movement. Unfortunately the Santa Anas linger during the peak of our normal fire season in October.

In Spring these drying winds can precede seasonal frosts causing irreparable damage to both agricultural crops and ornamental landscapes. Nurseries lose thousands of dollars in damaged goods. Electricity and water delivery may be out for days at a time in some areas, and insurance claims skyrocket as property is damaged by fallen trees and windblown debris. When the winds hits the coast, the moored boats in the marinas can sustain significant damage too. This is especially true on Catalina Island where the picturesque Avalon Harbor is impacted by both the pummeling gusts and the wind-driven waves.



Often the winds begin as a calming warm breeze with the tinkle of the garden's wind chimes, but soon it'll be time to take down the umbrellas and fasten down anything that's not securely anchored! I hope you enjoy my inspiration from the Santa Ana winds as I've tried to capture the progression in a series of haiku verses.

Warm fragrant blusters

The crashing of loose debris

Santa Ana winds.

_______

Undulating grass

Rattling dry fall leaves

A sleepy breeze stirs.

_______

Intermittent gusts

Prompt a chorus of wind chimes.

Resounding waves.

_______

Wind's undaunted grip

Branches stripped from twisted limbs

Not a leaf is spared.

_______

The giant's limbs tremble.

The lean willow bends with ease.

Such dichotomy!

_______

The blossomed bough quakes

A soft snow of white petals

Has been set adrift.

_______

Winds blow with fury.

The gust pummels all, then rests.

It takes a deep breath.

_______

A wind's fickle burst

Throws rain at my window's pane.

Wake up! March madness!


copyright 2011

No parts may be used without my permission.

© 2011 Catherine Tally

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Comments 13 comments

kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 5 years ago from London

Absolutely brilliant.A discovery


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 5 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Wow! Thank you for your praise, Kathryn. It really inspires me.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Beautiful vignettes that reache in with imagery that captures the heart and takes us there. Well done!


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 5 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Thanks,Genna- such a nice compliment!


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona

You have painted the most vivid pictures with precise brushstrokes...the 5-7-5 meter swept me along this wondrously windblown haiku...like your gust, I too must take a deep breath and welcome a fellow poet to HubPages...Look forward to more...Larry


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 5 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Thank you, Larry, for the beautiful praise! I am enjoying your haiku as well and look forward to sharing more inspired observations of nature.


arb profile image

arb 5 years ago from oregon

and a snow of white petals has been set adrift. simplicity potraying volumes. I am reminded of a scene from "the last saumari" in which kamamoto was seeking the perfect blossom. As he lay dying, he whispered, "they are all perfect". It was profound as is your haiku.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 5 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Arb, Thank you for your kind comment.


tnderhrt23 profile image

tnderhrt23 5 years ago

These are just sublime! I love the wind...and the next best thing to feeling it blow roses into my cheeks is reading your Wind Series!


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 5 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Tenderheart,

Thank you for the beautiful compliment!


larryriegle profile image

larryriegle 4 years ago

nice...i was just in nipomo in slo county...your pics and words seem familiar and captivating


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Hi,larry. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. These trees are from the inland areas above Santa Barbara in Los Olivos. I'm happy to have you as a new follower- loved your grasshopper story!


peter28 4 years ago

great stuff

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