This rainbow doesn't just END in gold!

By Sara Malone
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Generally the winter skies in Sonoma County are the most dramatic; the low sun lighting up the clouds and sky all shades of orange and pink. We were missing them the other day when we had a bout of unsettled weather, with rain and hail followed by brilliant sunshine. The setting sun lit up the sky where it was not still covered by glowering clouds. The result was bands of brilliance alternating with deep, rich hues.

Eucalyptus globulus

Moving in a little closer, you can see four yellow trees in the background. The two on the left are, indeed, fairly yellow in normal light. They are two cultivars of Cupressus macrocarpa, our native Monterey cypress. The one on the far left is 'Citriodora', the next one in is 'Coneybearii Aurea'. They were lit up like beacons on this rainy afternoon. The yellow tree on the right is a Japanese maple called 'Mizuho Beni'. It's quite yellow, too, but generally doesn't look like it has an on-off switch. What was really amazing, though, is that the Eucalyptus globulus, second in from the right, is ordinarily a solid gray-green. This afternoon's light makes it look positively radioactive!

Parkinsonia 'Desert Museum

In the shot above, the Japanese maple is now on the left, in the background. You can see lots of other yellow trees back there, although none of them are yellow, they are just on fire!

Brahea armata

The band of gold went from horizon to horizon, wrapping the garden in brilliance.

Foliage garden

So now we won't just look for dramatic skies in winter. Spring has shown us that it can hold its own!

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