and this is the view looking from her back yard.
There are oranges on the trees already! You can see the foothills of the mountains where I live; the actual mountains are hidden behind the storm clouds. My big sister always sends me home with a couple of bags of oranges during this time of year, so my husband and I will be enjoying fresh squeezed orange juice with breakfast for the next couple of weeks.
No matter how many times I make this drive I'm always amazed at the difference in our climates. We both feel blessed to have the best of both worlds. When I just cannot take one more day of cold and snow, I can drive to warmth and blooming flowers, and when the temperatures climb to over 100 degrees F in the summer down where she lives my sister can drive up here and enjoy the lakes, the clean air and temperatures that are 20 to 30 degrees cooler.
Driving back up, the foothill portion of the road starts out as a 4 lane highway but quickly narrows into a 2 lane road. I'm at about the 1,100 foot level right now and by the time I get to the 3,000 foot level the fog (actually clouds) will be horribly thick and I will start to see the first light snow. And, eventually, I'll see deeper snow,
and soon be in by my warm hearth in the living room (this photo was taken last Christmas).