It is a peculiar feature of our sailing that within a few hours we may change our climate. Cool, windy, moist, in the lower bays; and hot, calm, and quiet in the rivers, creeks, and sloughs. As you go to Napa, for instance, the wind gradually lightens as the bay is left, the air is balmier, and finally the yacht is left becalmed. We can, moreover, in two hours run from salt into fresh water. In spring the water is fresh down into Suisun Bay; and at Antioch, fresh water is the rule. The yachts frequently sail up there so that the barnacles will be killed by the fresh water.
CHARLES G. YALE,
in The Californian.
Across San Pablo’s heaving breast
I see the home-lights gleam,
As the sable garments of the night
Drop down on vale and stream.
* * * * *
Hard by, yon vessel from the seas
Her cargo homeward brings,
And soon, like sea-bird on her nest,
Will sleep with folded wings.
The fisher’s boat swings in the bay,
From yonder point below,
While ours is drifting with the tide,
And rocking to and fro.
LUCIUS HARWOOD FOOTE,
in A Red-Letter Day.
A few years ago this valley of San Gabriel was a long open stretch of wavy slopes and low rolling hills; in winter robed in velvety green and spangled with myriads of flowers all strange to Eastern eyes; in summer brown with sun-dried grass, or silvery gray where the light rippled over the wild oats. Here and there stood groves of huge live-oaks, beneath whose broad, time-bowed heads thousands of cattle stamped away the noons of summer. Around the old mission, whose bells have rung o’er the valley for a century, a few houses were grouped; but beyond this there was scarcely a sign of man’s work except the far-off speck of a herdsman looming in the mirage, or the white walls of the old Spanish ranch-house glimmering afar through the hazy sunshine in which the silent land lay always sleeping.
T.S. VAN DYKE,
in Southern California.
The surroundings of Monterey could not well be more beautiful if they had been gotten up to order. Hills, gently rising, the chain broken here and there by a more abrupt peak, environ the city, crowned with dark pines and the famous cypress of Monterey (Cypressus macrocarpa.) Before us the bay lies calm and blue, and away across, can be seen the town of Santa Cruz, an indistinct white gleam on the mountain side.
JOSEPHINE CLIFFORD McCRACKIN,
in Another Juanita.
The lark sends up a carol blithe,
Bloom-billows scent the breeze,
Green-robed the rolling foot-hills rise
And poppies paint the leas.