Friday, May 18, 2012

Living in the Fast Lane

When we moved here to sunny San Diego County, we chose a city that was more rural than city.   With cows grazing in fields, orange groves, and huge gardens that sold produce in road-side stands, we loved it.  The hills around us were covered with rocky outcrops with patches of manzanita and sage. 

What a pleasure to be outside!  Wind from the west sent the smell of cows (and manure) our way. The north wind gave us eucalyptus.  From the south came the sweet citrus orange blossoms.  The eastern winds from San Jacinto Mountains and deserts gave me a migraine.

That was nearly 25 years ago, and life in California changes at a rapid pace.

On the hills we now see expensive homes with a superior view.  The rocks are still there, but for how long?  Until another housing developer blasts them away?

The cows grazed on mighty expensive land, it turned out.  Those lovely black and white cows were moved out and a new high school moved in with parking lots.

The brittle eucalyptus trees grow at an alarming rate.  We had four and had to remove them; they were a danger to houses around us.  Brought here by Spanish padres from Australia, those trees took over the state.  Not a source of lumber since the trees shattered and burned easily, the trees are being removed.  

Orange groves once covered large parts of southern California.  Once a heavenly-scented place to live, the groves are gone with houses in their place.  The grove to the south of us sat for years on a big corner lot.  Ignored, oranges dropped and rotted on the ground.  Without water, the trees were gnarled dwarfs.  

Yesterday, on a drive to the store in that area, I was shocked to see the trees bulldozed into a pile in the middle.  The lot was valuable and had been sold. 

So, the only thing that remains is the Santa Ana wind from the east.

That, unfortunately, will always blow through my head, giving me a migraine.

The photos comes from the following sites:


  1. I live in a rural area, but nothing stays that way for long. Much of the farmland has been bought up by builders, who are just waiting for the housing market to come back before they put in their large developments. It will be a very sad day for me when that happens.

    I think they call it progress.

  2. Years pass and 'progress' is made. It's sad to see such beautiful lands disappearing all over the world. The place you described in the beginning sounded so wonderful! I would have liked to have seen it for myself. It's a shame that it was taken away.

    1. In CA, land is like gold in prime areas. I don't know where the cows went. I miss that cow smell--reminds me of my childhood on the farm.

  3. Hi Susan,
    Seems like "California Dreamin'" has turned into a bit of a nightmare. The cost of alleged 'progress'. And the cost doesn't bare thinking about.
    I do hope you have a pleasant weekend.
    In kindness, Gary

  4. i could just smell that eucalyptus and oranges--such a shame how things change for the worse

  5. Great post! I've got a couple of awards for you over at my place! Come and get 'em! :)

  6. How utterly depressing to see the landscape change so drastically in such a short time! :-( I live in what was essentially a rural town - rather than a village - but a quaint out of the way kind of town and in four years, I've never seen so many houses built, small shops close, great big shopping centres open. This lil town edges ever closer to London. It's such a shame.

    Take care

  7. How sad. :( Sometimes change doesn't bring better things. It's rough looking at how things have changed, how everywhere has become more populous.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, road tripping through the #atozchallenge participants!


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